Why You Can't Avoid Liturgy - Winfield Bevins - Episode 25

Winfield Bevins is an author, artist, and speaker whose passion is to help others connect to the roots of the Christian faith for discipleship and mission. He is the Director of Church Planting at Asbury Theological Seminary. And he frequently speaks at conferences on a variety of topics and is a regular adjunct professor at several seminaries. Having grown up in a free-church background, Winfield eventually found his spiritual home in the Anglican tradition, but freely draws wisdom from all church traditions.

Having authored several books, his writings explore the convergence of liturgy, prayer, and mission. His latest book, Ever Ancient, Ever New, examines young adults who have embraced Christian liturgy and how it has impacted their lives.

As an artist, Winfield is dedicated to connecting the church and the arts community. He is a visual artist who enjoys painting iconography, landscapes, and portraits. Over the past decade, he has helped start numerous arts initiatives, including a non-profit art gallery and studio and an arts program in North Carolina.

You can find Winfield on:

 

Or check out his work at winfieldbevins.com.

Resources 

Ever Ancient, Ever New by Winfield Bevins

Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail by Robert Webber & Lester Ruth

The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy

Episode Audio:

Chapter 1 - How Liturgy Connects Us to the Roots of Discipleship

Have you heard that we are in the midst of a movement of spiritual renewal happening in the United States? For the last 40 years young people have been turning to liturgical worship in order to find a deeper relationship with Jesus. Although some may think liturgical worship is outdated and repetitive, many are finding a new depth in their discipleship, one that is rooted in the history and community of the church. So this week as we talk with Winfield Bevins, we want to explore why this movement has gained so much momentum and how liturgy can help us become more like Christ in our daily walk.

Chapter 2 - Why You Can't Avoid Liturgy

You have a tradition that you practice every day. You brush your teeth. You may not always like doing it, but the results are great. Cleaning our teeth is a tradition that’s been around for thousands of years. Many cultures practiced it quite differently and with various tools for cleaning the teeth, but it has been around for a long time. Ancient Egyptians are said to have made crude toothbrushes from frayed twigs. Thankfully, you don’t brush your teeth with a stick today. You have the benefit of thousands of years of learning to now brush your teeth as efficiently as it’s ever been done in human history. We in North America also tend to look at our growth as disciples of Christ very individualistically, thinking we have to figure out how to grow and that our growth is just so we can become more like Christ. But this misses the connection we have to the body of Christ both with us today and that came before us for the last 2000 years. You don’t have to figure out how to grow from square one, just like you don’t have to learn the best way to clean your teeth all over again. Millions of believers have gone before you, figuring out how to grow. And the practices that have worked stuck around in the form of liturgies. Your growth today can find life and structure in those practices. That’s not to say you have to practice everything exactly as it’s been done for centuries on end. It simply means you have the benefit of knowing what works and what doesn’t because someone has already figured it out. You now have the privilege of growing in richer soil than Christians 500 years ago. And your daily growth today will provide the soil for disciples in the next generation. In this chapter, Winfield unpacks some of the ways liturgies can bring life to our growth as well as some of the bad liturgies that we should probably avoid.

Chapter 3 - The Allure of Liturgy for a New Generation of Disciples

Why are young people across the United States suddenly turning to liturgical worship? What is it about liturgy that appeals to them so much? What unspoken need is being met? In today’s chapter, Winfield discusses who liturgy is for and how those of us from non-liturgical traditions can explore this style of worship for the first time.

Chapter 4 - Does Liturgy Have Value for Daily Growth?

Much of Church history is filled with art. If you visit old churches or cathedrals, there’s an abundance of artwork depicting events in the past, people from history, and images that are meant to produce feelings in us that bring us to God. Art does something that words cannot in that way. And we can take advantage of that for our daily growth as disciples of Jesus. When we combine liturgical practices and the art produced by the body of Christ, we have a powerful tool for daily growth. In this chapter, Winfield discusses a few of the ways the church has lost the value of art and how we can bring it back and integrate it into our daily lives.