To worship God is both our highest duty and one of His gracious gifts to us as His children.Here are some convictions we hold as we gather to approach His throne.
WORSHIP IS PRIMARILY FOR GOD’S PLEASURE, NOT OURS.
We come into a service to intentionally humble ourselves before God Almighty, acknowledging His greatness and the greatness of His love.But if we are hurting, it is hard not to come seeking what we can get.But the point is His glory, not our gain; His Lordship, not my need.
But how like our gracious God, that in laying aside our hopes and concerns, we often find ourselves healed and enriched in His presence (Matthew 10:39).Take your pain and trust it into His hands as you place Him first in your life.Worship is good for us, but it is first of all about Him, not us.
Our weekly gathering as a family to worship God offers a special opportunity to enter His presence.However, worship does not begin when we enter the sanctuary doors.Our daily lives are to be a continuous act of worship (Romans 12:1).This being the case, the richness of our corporate worship has far more to do with our hearts than with anything that might happen “up front” during a service.
WORSHIP IS BETTER IN HARMONY THAN IN UNISON.
We are a diverse group of people, representing diverse backgrounds, tastes, and traditions; nowhere does that seem to show more than in our personal preferences in worship.We have chosen to embrace our differences rather than eliminating them.In that God’s kingdom cuts across all human lines of division (Galatians ), our worship should reflect that richness.
That is why no two services are quite the same.A variety of approaches offers a fresh avenue to meet with the Lord each week.This is not always comfortable, but it enriches our worship in several ways:
It deflates the arrogance that my way of worship is the “right” way, stretching our ability to worship.
It guards against the deception that if I enjoyed the service, I must have worshipped God.
It demonstrates that we are one, not merely because we share the same preferences, but rather because we belong to Christ.
Next time you find yourself struggling to worship because the style of music isn’t your preference, take it as a chance to push past mere personal enjoyment and focus on exalting God with your spiritual family, learning to worship in someone else’s “voice”.
WORSHIP IS AN ACT OF ALL GOD’S PEOPLE, NOT JUST A FEW.
First, we gather so that all of us can worship, not so we can observe a select few worship for us.While recognizing that some have special gifts in this area of ministry, their task is to help us all to worship.
Second, we seek to involve many different people in the worship services, not just a select few week after week, hopefully opening that many more doors for the Spirit to empower our worship.