Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

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To my friends the music worship leaders,

March 27, 2008

I have worshiped in several different churches and chapels during my Christian life. Admittedly I enjoy Psalms and Old Hymns most during worship. And I do recognize the good new music that is more contemporary. I think there is even a good argument for it to be a necessary part of worship.

I think the problem is that very few worship leaders are conscious of the Bible’s view of worship. Answering questions such as “What is the purpose of worship?”, “What biblical guidelines do we have for worship?”, “What is the focus of worship?” and “What is the most important part of worship?” are important when making decisions concerning the organization of the music.

I think one particularly obvious habit of worship leaders is to be a performer instead of fellow worshiper. Two things that lend themselves to this are: 1) improvisation; and, 2) removing the musical text from the congregation’s hands.

I would not be doing my job if I failed to provide at least biblical implications that conflict with these tendencies. Paul speaks of being orderly in worship in 1 Corinthians 14. He concludes with verse 33, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace”.

So when you, as worship leaders, invite the congregation to sing, it is necessary that they be given anything needed for them to join in singing so it will be organized or peaceful rather than confusing. If you have music, wouldn’t that help the people keep track of where you are and sing along? Couldn’t they follow along better if each note was not only provided but also kept to its proper length and timing? Instead of last minute changes (or at least last minute from our perspective) of where to jump in the music, why not provide a different order to begin with or explain it beforehand? Why jump to a completely different song in the middle of the one we’re singing? I am not terribly good with music. And I know these things will not make my singing better. But I would really like to worship God with you, could you help me by adding a little more order so I can sing along?

For anyone desiring to increase their understanding of biblical worship, consider the free resources here and here.

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Christmas cuts and Scripture musts

December 11, 2007

The Christmas season is a busy time for many people, especially churches. The desire to incorporate more into a worship service can leave the service lacking in other things. I was reading through a church bulletin recently when I saw, or rather didn’t see, something that I expected.

We learned in my Personal Spiritual Disciplines class the importance of 1 Timothy 4:13, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching”. In part, it was brought to our attention that the public reading of Scripture is commanded. Paul wrote this epistle to Timothy, giving him instruction on how to conduct himself, especially concerning the worship service. Both pastors and those they are accountable to should remember this command when busy Christmas services call for “cuts” in the normal bulletin schedule.

May we not be too busy to remember our Lord’s instructions and obey them.