Prof. Aaron Christie
Stretching Your Worship Within Lutheran Parameters, Prof. Aaron Christie
We Lutherans often tend to take a different view on things. What, for instance, are the distinctive aims, actions, and aesthetics of Lutheran worship? We often speak of principles of Lutheran worship. Are we inclined to think of these principles as scriptural signposts that help us in congregational life? Or are we tempted to view our principles as strictures that hinder a vibrant congregational life? A principled approach to worship comes with a significant possible pitfall: That our worship becomes stayed or stagnant. Is there, every now and then, a little bit of truth to the critique of Lutheran worship, “It’s the same thing every week!”
This workshop will encourage your congregation to spot that which is stagnant and then stretch your worship life. Where are you at? What might you leave behind? What are your next steps forward? Where is your congregation at? …in terms of liturgy? What should be your next step be in enriching your orders of service? …in the singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs? What are 12-24 musical stretches for your people to learn next year? (Resources from Christian Worship will be demonstrated.) …in terms of contact with your community? Do we conduct worship in a way that welcomes the unchurched? How might we stretch ourselves to be a more warm and welcoming congregation? …in the use of your facility? Does your physical structure help or hinder your worship and outreach? …in your application of Lutheran worship principles in your specific setting? We need to constantly strive to be more Gospel-centered, rooted, and relevant.
The goal is to keep you and your congregation stretching toward a life of worship that exchanges parish ruts for Lutheran riches! We seek to give God our best in worship. God’s people and our communities will be blessed as a result. Attendees will bring home a list of “deliverables” that can be implemented in their specific contexts.
Prof. Aaron Christie
Aaron began taking piano lessons in the fifth grade. Most expected Aaron to pursue a career in music. Instead, he chose to pursue the pastoral ministry. But music has remained a passion. While at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, he served on the worship committee, was student director of the Seminary Chorus, and regularly played for morning chapel services.
Aaron graduated from the seminary in 1997 and was assigned to be associate pastor at Faith in Antioch, Ill. At Faith, he served as pastor for Worship and Adult Education, directed the Senior Choir, and regularly played organ. While serving at Faith, Prof. Christie earned a Master of Church Music degree from Concordia University in Mequon, Wis. In 2010, Aaron accepted a call to Trinity in Waukesha, Wis., where his responsibilities included administration, a Lutheran elementary school, adult discipleship, and worship. In that last capacity, he planned worship that spanned a wide spectrum of musical styles. Worship at Trinity deliberately seeks to include “treasures old” as well as “treasures new” without categorizing services according to niche musical styles. At least once a month, all weekend services are led by Trinity’s liturgical ensemble Trinitas, that includes piano, guitars, keyboard, instruments, percussion, and soloists. In the summer of 2020, Aaron accepted the call to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary to serve as dean of chapel and professor of worship and homiletics.
Prof. Christie serves the church at large as a regular presenter for WELS Schools of Worship Enrichment, member of WELS Commission on Worship, member of WELS Institute for Worship and Outreach, chairman of the Hymns Committee for Christian Worship, and as guest preacher and essayist for local, district, and national conferences and conventions.
Aaron is married to Kristin, who teaches kindergarten at Salem in Milwaukee, Wis. The Christies have three grown children. Karl and Peter are enrolled at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Their daughter Anna attends Wisconsin Lutheran College. In his free time, Prof. Christie enjoys travel, reading, cooking, and fishing.