All posts tagged "Worship"

Worship = adoration + action


Too many Christians stand back and live half-hearted lives of partial worship & adoration. They pray, read the books, sing the songs, enjoy the Lord, and cheer at the events, but when it comes to doing anything – getting their hands dirty, being involved with community, or serving others in need or giving generously, it’s like – I couldn’t, I was too busy reading books about the rapture, my hope is just to leave. No.  That’s not how Jesus lived. – Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, Seattle. Click here to view on YouTube.


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Worship as compassion


Moving from adoration to compassion in worship is a stretch for many of us. But the Scriptures tell us that if we love God, then we’ll obey God. If we really adore the beautiful things in God’s character, then we are to model and practice those things. If our worship is to be authentic, it has to be embodied in very real ways. Worship as compassion is an invitation to demonstrate our love for Christ by loving God’s children. By making this commitment in worship, we move our theoretical and sometimes rhetorical confessions of God’s love, into a felt sense of anticipation.  Our compassionate worship leaves us anticipating a response. Anticipating the possibility that what we have experienced in our own faith journeys can become real for someone else. Worship as compassion is also an indictment of our reality, testifying to the pain and vulnerability of our humanity. When we see others unjustly suffering under cruel oppression, we know that it’s not what God intended or designed. Compassion is what takes us to the next level and compels us to act on what we know. – Chris Tomlin, What Do We Mean By Worship, FQWorship.com. Also see what God has to say about worship and compassion for the poor.


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Experience as idolatry


We all love “worship experiences” with God. Experiences aren’t evil. But the concept of worship as an “experience” is fairly foreign to Scripture. I say “fairly” because there are times when worshipping God was definitely an experience! (2 Chron. 5:11-14;Acts 4:31; 1 Cor. 14:23-25) However, the goal of gathering as God’s people is not to feel something but to see and remember something. That “something” is the Word, works, and worthiness of God, especially as He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6) If I pursue goose bumps or heightened emotion during a meeting, God becomes simply one of numerous options I can choose to seek them from. This doesn’t minimize the importance of pursuing encounters with the living God characterized by profound emotion and awareness of the Holy Spirit’s active presence. Scripture is filled with examples of longing for, pursuing, and delighting in God’s presence (Ps. 84:1-2; 1 Chron 16:11; Ps. 16:11) But I become aware of God’s nearness by dwelling on His nature, promises, and acts, not by pursuing an emotional fix. – Bob Kauflin, Idolatry on Sunday Mornings (Pt. 3), WorshipMatters.com


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Silence in worship


If you are struggling with ‘filling in dead time’ during worship, Rich over at Sound Doxology has some thoughts worth considering: Many times I have found myself standing awkwardly on stage in between songs, looking slightly fidgety awaiting the introduction of the next song… …my thinking was always aiming to end the silence. And awkward silence, as I have found, will make a talker out of a mute. And talking simply to fill in the silence leads to unnecessary rambling and idiotic phrasings that edify and glorify no one. Well, I’m done with that. As I strive to increase my understanding of sound doxology I just cannot continue to participate in this game. Silence is inevitable and I aim to make much of Christ through it.  I believe that the benefits of silence in between our songs can far outweigh our feeble efforts to fill it. I also believe that these benefits can prevail over the common concerns of awkwardness, distractions, and the inability to worship. Full post here.


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Worship in another tongue


Have you checked out the MySpace video from the Passion Mexico City and Passion Seoul (Korea) conferences? The native language is used alongside English in worship and obviously strikes a chord with the congregation (the videos for “How Great Thou Art” in Korean and “God of this City” in Spanish are particularly moving). With the nature of our churches and worship becoming increasingly more global and mixed in ethnicity, what accommodations or changes are we as music directors and worship leaders making? What changes and accommodations are necessary? They are necessary, aren’t they?


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Worship or entertainment?


“The church that can’t worship must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide the entertainment.”  – A.W. Tozer. This is quite a challenge – especially as we all prepare to lead worship this Sunday. Are we going to pull out the classics, and try and force people into a time of worship? Are we going to rely on our own strength to make something happen? Or, are we going trust and follow God to lead us in a beautiful, deep and meaningful encounter of worship? Singer/songerwriter Tim Hughes (Here I Am to Worship) (HT:  Blog.worship.com)


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Priorities and preferences in worship


In too many churches, I think, worship is just the prelude to the sermon…the implication being that we’ll get past all the preliminaries and we’ll get to the meat of the service, which is the sermon. What I want people to understand is this:  That opening stuff?  That’s just as important.  In fact, it’s communicating the Gospel just as the sermon does. When we rightly understand that, we’ll have priorities that are Biblical as well as our own personal preferences to guide us in terms of what Biblical worship should be. Bryan Chappell, President of Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis. The promo video for his book, Christ-Centered Worship (Baker) is below. View on YouTube here. HT: ReformWorship.com


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What is worship?


Mike Harland of Lifeway Resources, in this presentation with Ed Stetzer, offers this good, concise definition: Worship is our response to Who God is and what He’s done. The whole video – Worship:  Reverence vs. Relevance – is a bit long and the but offers some good thoughts concerning basics concerning evangelical, Baptistic approaches to worship.


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Follow Me by Leeland


Here’s terrific new song – apparently inspired by Bono – that’s worthy of your consideration (it made my list): Follow Me – Leeland You live among the least of these The weary and the weak And it would be a tragedy For me to turn away All my needs You have supplied When I was dead You gave me life So how could I not give it away so freely? And I´ll… Follow You into the homes of the broken Follow You into the world Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God Follow You into the world Use my hands use my feet To make Your kingdom come To the corners of the earth Until Your work is done Faith without works is dead On the cross Your blood was shed So how could we not give it away so freely? And I´ll… Follow You into the homes of the broken Follow You into the world Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God Follow You into the world For more mercy ministry songs, check out the list here. HT:  Worship Together, which provides a gratis sheet music download and stream, plus a feature in the New Song Cafe which does a nice job stepping you through playing the song (free subscription required).


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Worship God by serving others


We have created the impression that worship has to do with sanctuaries, chapels, prayer houses, ecclesiastical orders, and liturgical formats. True worship of God calls not for functional church buildings, music of FM radio quality, or slick church services. Of course we have gotten our aesthetics right; image or visibility seems to be everything in a consumer-oriented culture. Does this not reduce Christian spirituality to the status of folk religion? Does this not enslave the people rather than liberate them, which is what the Bible teaches? True worship of God calls for greater involvement in issues of poverty and hunger, of righteousness and justice, of love and compassion, of oppression and enslavement.  It is then that the world will begin to see who (and what) the Church is. When the Church is about loving and caring not only for one another in order to build each other up in the Lord but also about reaching out to the hurting, the bruised, the battered, the broken, and the enslaved, then the world will begin to see the Church (John 13:34-35). – Enoch Era, Visible Christianity: A Call to Consider the Social Implications of Worship, Lausanne World Pulse


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