A work in progress: my philosophy of worship.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:16-17

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly…

“To worship God in truth is to recognize Him for being who He is, and to recognize ourselves for what we are.” – Brother Lawrence.

Worship is the external expression of our internal faith. It is a proclamation of who God is and what He has done. It is surrender: a place where we make ourselves vulnerable before Him in order to dwell with Him. There is no limitation to the ways we can worship; our goal is to be close to Him.

…As you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit…

“He created not just one person, but many; He has redeemed not just one person, but many, so that at the end of the age there will be a vast throng to worship Him.”   – Emmanuel Bible Church

While our relationship to God is very personal and intimate, we were not meant to walk out our faith alone. The Lord has created us as many parts of one body, and we are called to do life and to do worship together. This is why we gather together on Sunday mornings and in home communities: to teach each other, to encourage each other, to pass along wisdom, to sing together, to create together.

…Singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

“Worship isn’t music just like love isn’t kissing. But where there is worship, there will be music, just like where there is love, there will be kissing.” – John Mark McMillan

There is something particularly mysterious about music. It is universal, it is cross-cultural, and it is cross-generational. It is biblical to sing praises and make music to the Lord. Music moves something deep within us – it reflects and spurs certain emotions, it gives us something to move and dance to, and it is a medium for memorizing and expressing doctrine and theology.

“Our entire being is fashioned as an instrument of praise. Just as a master violin maker designs an instrument to produce maximum aesthetic results, so God tailor-made our bodies, souls, and spirits to work together in consonance to produce pleasing expressions of praise and worship. When we use body language to express praise, that which is internal becomes visible.” – Lamar Boschman

God has given us each the ability to make noise in some form, and there is something special about the simplicity of worshiping Him through that. There is something even more special and mysterious about doing this communally. When we sing together, we breathe in and out together; when we play our instruments, or clap in rhythm, or dance – our unique, individual sounds come together to make something new and beautiful.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

True worship is centered on God. Absent from Him, it isn’t worship. Musical worship is just music. Serving is just a good deed. Church is just a place to go on Sunday morning. As worship leaders, if we are not connecting with God, we are just musicians. The authenticity of our heart is essential to a lifestyle of worship.

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