“The aim of corporate worship is not simply to sing good theology or witness to our common experience of Christ. The object of our worship is God Himself, nothing less. As we sing to Him rather than about Him, our focus is taken off of ourselves and directed to this throne, whether we are shouting high praises before God’s awesomeness or kneeling in intimate devotion.”
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be teaching a bit on worship and was wondering if any of you have any thoughts, comments or questions concerning worship…
Below are some of the things bouncing around in my head that I’m thinking about addressing:
Trusting God – We have to really trust God before we are willing to surrender everything to Him in worship. For example if you don’t trust God then you are less likely to really let go and enjoy Him during musical worship. Instead you are going to try to maintain a certain demeanor while sings the lyrics.
Why we sing for half an hour? – One of the things that has developed at PRV is a full half hour or more of musical worship, which, to be honest, is fairly standard for a Vineyard church. However I’m not sure if everyone fully understands why we do it…
Non-Musical Worship – Worship God goes beyond the musical song service into every day life. True worship is an ongoing daily relationship with Jesus that is real and personal.
What do you all think? Am I missing something? Do you have good stories, references, versus for the above topics?
I’m fairly open so paste your comments and we shall see what God does… 😀
To be like you, moved to action
Full of mercy and compassion
We want to love the things You love
We want to hate the things You hate
As Your heart is formed inside us
May we learn to walk in grace
And extern the hand of mercy
To set the captives free
Bringing freedom to the prisoner
Bringing hope the blind can see
Mercy triumphs over judgment
Mercy triumphs over judgment
(Lyrical excerpt – full lyrics can be found on the below video)
May we walk this message out and not merely sing of it….
I love musical worship. I love the strum of the guitar; the beat of a drum; the runs of the keyboard; and the clear voice of worshipers pouring out their hearts to Jesus.
And I love being physical in worship – jumping up and down, swaying side to side, falling to my knees, laying on my face and basically just moving with the music and being enveloped in the presence of God.
As my church family knows, I will even jump and down while playing the bass guitar during worship (my band members have asked me to jump on beat so they won’t get off!!!).
Sometimes I sing.
That may sound odd to folks as most people start with the singing and then move into the physical worship (yes, sitting down is physical as it requires you to NOT to move!).
I don’t know how it happened – maybe this was the result of all my trips throughout Latin America sitting through and worshiping in a foreign language…or maybe it is the result of years of pursuing God.
Either way, there is within me something powerful that simply connects with the presence of God no matter what the worship service looks like or what songs are sung.
No, what I’m questioning is the need for people to know the words to every worship song sung during worship. I can’t count the times I have watched people stare blankly at the worship band trying to figure out the words…or the times after worship when someone comes up and says that they had a bad worship experience because they didn’t know the songs.
Perhaps we all should stop trying to know all the words and simply allow ourselves to be carried away into the presence of God.
On the third Tuesday of each month the PRV worship team makes the journey down the mountain to a neighboring town to worship with a local Celebrate Recovery group. Hosted by the Emmett Community Bible Church, this group is open to anyone and everyone who is struggling with “hurts, habits and hang-ups” – which pretty much includes all of us.
This week was especially wonderful as the presence of the Lord seemed to envelop the room as we praised and worshipped Him. It was actually a tad odd as usually I’m tired and stressed out after working all day and then setting up the sound system….but last night was different. Something ‘clicked’ and things just fell into place – creating an atmosphere of worship that drew people into the presence of God.
This atmosphere continued as we listened too and jointly recited scriptures by way of the 12 Steps and the Eight Recovery Principles. Both powerful lists made real by their communal reciting each week.
After that we started to watch a video of someone telling their story, but for some reason the brand new DVD didn’t want to work…so a local gentlemen volunteered to tell his story. This, to me, was much more powerful and relational than listening to someone on a film… no, this was someone in our community, someone who we can talk too and touch, someone who had seen Jesus and experienced His life giving touch.
In this article, Frank makes service important points as to why we must be careful what worship songs we sing:
a) People will remember the words of a worship song long after they have forgotten the points of a sermon.
“Worship leaders are often even more powerful teachers than even our best preachers”
b) If we are singing to God, we better make sure our words reflex the truth about Him – similar to how you would make sure a love song to your spouse included accurate information about them.
“When I hear comments like, ‘it’s just a song’, as if it doesn’t matter what we sing, I usually shudder inside. In worship it is never just a song – it is worship of the most high God, the Lord of Lords. Worship of such a God always deserves to be our best, our most passionate expressions of our best theology (that is talk about God).”
Being a person that is always up to seeing what God is doing, I wondered up there (Ola is 12 miles deeper into the Idaho mountains than Sweet) Saturday evening. Arriving a few minutes late, I entered the 107-yr old one-room church building – slipping into the back pew as the echoes of the hymns drifted through the open door.
Alas, it was not to be as some friends motioned me forward a few rows further in… yet thankfully no one commented on my late arrival – instead, they broke out into another hymn, signing with their whole being as an acoustic guitar kept pace with an upright piano.
oh – not only was I able to buy the amp, I also got it on sale! The best of both worlds! 😛
The benefits of this amp are as follows:
Crystal clear sound – I have been using a tiny six inch amp that couldn’t do justice to any bass guitar…this amp as a nice 12” speaker and 75 watts of power that creates a beautiful nice rumble that echoes through one’s bones.
Line Out – A crucial feature as I have to be able to mix the bass with the keyboard and voices via our soundboard
Monitor – My old amp disconnected the speaker once you hooked up the line out cable; this one doesn’t do that – meaning that I now have a designated monitor just for me instead of sharing the keyboard/vocal monitor. 🙂
Tilt-back design – Did I mention that it can be titled backwards, aiming the sound upwards towards my ears?
Overdrive – While our worship leader may never allow me to use this feature on Sunday, I now can distort the signal to create some amazing sound effects.
Auxiliary Input – I can hook up a MP3 player to the amp allowing me to play along with my favorite songs.
As you can tell, I am very, very, very, very excited and happy about this new amp. Now for the weekly to come so that I can try it out on stage – live and loud. 😀
Sunday evening was a testimony to this word as three different churches across 50 miles of sun kissed landscape joined together for a baptism party at a local lake.
Members of the Nampa Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Horseshoe Bend Assemblies of God, and the Payette River Vineyard (PRV) churches descended upon the shores of the Black Canyon Reservoir to witness the new birth of 15 sojourners of various ages. With shouts of praise and celebration, those on the banks embraced their brothers and sisters as they climbed out of the water and prayed the blessing of God over them.
Climbing back up the hill, the crowd of a hundred or so broke bread together and lifted their voices in praise as the Nampa Vineyard and the PRV worship bands honored the Lord through the gifts given to them.
It was a blessed evening full of God’s grace and joy.