There has been much written about modern worship music, saying much of it is bland. The real issues are not the songs and hymns that we use, but more the individual church’s approach to worship. In ‘charismatic’ churches, it can become like a ‘concert’, and in a ‘traditional’ church, the hymns can simply be part of a ‘fixed diet’. We not only need to go back to the Scriptures to discover God’s theology of worship, but also to discover the sheer richness of styles used! Let us be creative and not get stuck in a rut.
The New Testament Greek word for worship basically means to prostrate oneself and crawl towards the King to kiss Him on the hand. A picture of humility, honour, respect and reverence!
We need to identify those in the congregation/fellowship who are gifted/talented in helping others and themselves to worship God (for that is who it is for, if we have forgotten!!). But, I don’t just mean from a musical point of view. There are many different ways of bringing worship to God, For example, we could use the Scriptures in imaginative ways; we could create prayers that could be led by the children; then there are banners, silence and prayer stations – the list is endless! We don’t need to use music everytime. I now that is radical! The more different forms we use, the more we can use everyone in the church to help lead worship. Worship should be the centre of the service and become part of our daily lives, 24/7. What we learn at ‘church’ should be used in the small group and the home.
I look forward to the day when I hear people saying that after the ‘worship bit’ of a service, they are so in awe of God, that the service cannot continue, as everyone is totally immersed in worshipping God and the whole thing is transforming people that they are so changed that others will notice it in the coming weeks at work, in the pub and in the home! They may even want some of that!
Do let me know of the different ways you worship which help you focus on God and not on how you feel.
May I suggest a book – ‘The 3 Colors of Spirituality’ by Christian Schwarz, available from Natural Church Development – http://www.ncd-uk.com/ as a starter to think through these issues and then to read ‘People in the Presence of God’ by Barry Liesch, available through CLC, a primer on the theology of worship.