the purpose of the worship team that needs to be emphasized

26 11 2009

You have probably heard people say, “That’s my song!” But why is it their song? They didn’t write it.

I think there is something special when we connect with a form of creative expression. Sometimes it’s a song, sometimes it’s a piece of art, sometimes a movie.

For example, I really like 300. I can tell you it’s not original or accurate. I can tell you the dialogue and acting aren’t the best. I can tell you everything is over the top. But I don’t care. Why do I like it so much? I think it is because it is an expression of what my soul longs to be. I am connected with the idea of preparation, fighting, sacrificing and winning when the short term looks like a loss.

Sometimes musical performances just seem to connect with us in a special way. I believe it is because the artist is saying something our soul longs to say whether it be through lyrics or through the instruments.

That brings us to a purpose of the worship team.

I was listening to the extended version of Revelation Song by Kari Jobe.

There is a place where she just sings “Praise” when everyone else goes on in the song. I thought, “this is what I want to sing.” It was at that moment when I realized all that I am writing in this post.

One of the purposes of a worship team is to be the expression of worship that everyone wishes their souls could proclaim.

Our souls long to be able to sing well for our Lord, and sometimes to do something that can’t be expressed in words. When words fail a guitar or drum solo might satisfy what our souls are bursting to exclaim.

We love art that expresses something we long to communicate. Many of us lack the ability, skills, expertise, or knowledge to share this. The artist becomes the medium for us to tell our deepest desires.

Romans 12:4-5

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

When we look at the church as a body and not individuals then we see a better picture of the worship team. Parts of us were made to be the voice that sing, the hands that paint, and the feet that dance to the King of Kings.

When those who were created to do these live out who they were made to be, then we as one body rejoice because we can express all our hearts desire to give to God.

The worship team is a means for the whole church to express what their souls long to proclaim. Therefore, it is imperative that each member be their best to allow the church to worship more fully.

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if worship sucks, it’s because of you

18 11 2009

OK, I know some people who probably hate my title because they think “suck” is a bad word, but that is part of the trick. I want you to read what I have to say.

To be honest, I’ve been a little disappointed in my corporate worship experiences recently because it hasn’t been up to par.

Worship has been really good over the last year, year and a half, maybe two years…? Consistently the presence of God is felt. Some weeks are better than others, which is to be expected.

But over the last few weeks it has seemed to be a little flat. Here’s the deal, if we don’t buck the trend we will have a great sounding band, but God won’t be there in the way He has and that’s no good.

So, I’m contemplating what can be done to help us all worship better.

Here is where I think the problem lies: we think worship happens to us and that worship is on our terms.

I know we try to tell people that they can worship in whatever way they feel they need to, but what if they don’t even know how they could/should worship?

To be honest a vast majority of my worship experiences have not been good. And if my experience is reflected in any part by the people who come to the gathering, then we have an uphill battle.

We can’t just tell people to worship in a way they feel led. What if they don’t even know how to feel led?

Do they even know why they should worship?

So here is a call to all worshipers: know who you worship and why you worship.

I think the biggest reason why worship stinks is because people have no idea who they are worshiping. This is our Creator! The one who has always been. Never has anything existed that was not created by Him.

When we are about to meet some human that is amazing, whether it be someone who is exceedingly successful, has skills that seem beyond human, or has beauty that makes us melt, we get nervous. I am not sure about you, but for me I actually rather stay away.

But these people are nothing compared to God. God is the one from who all these people were dreamed of and created.

We are trying to approach a God who’s glory is so beyond us that He has to protect us from it or else we’d be eliminated from all existence. When Moses asked to see God, God protected Moses from seeing the full glory of His All Glorious Back Side! Exodus 33:18-23, read it:

Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”

Visualize it. You are Moses and you know God better than anyone. You get to converse with God very clearly (Numbers 12:8, Deuteronomy 34:10), and the Messiah is compared to you (Acts 3:22). You are a big shot in God’s eyes. (Well… as big as a human can get in His eyes) As good as you are, you are only allowed to see the back of God after He has walked away from you.

I’m not saying I get God better and therefore I’m a better worshiper. What I’m saying is proclaiming accolades to God should come from an understanding that THIS IS GOD we are encountering!

I think if we have an intimate understand who we are worshiping, then a lot of other things take care of themselves.

When we understand who God is then we understand why we worship, which is simply because He is.

Now, this get’s me to the issue of worship being sub par.

We need to honor God. He deserves more.

This is why sitting in worship is generally an action of the sub par worship performance. (I say perform because we as a body of believers are performing for God.) When is sitting ever an action of honor? If you have an example please tell me.

I discussed it before, but honor is usually demonstrated by standing or bowing.

To give you some context to think about let me tell of my heart for the University of Arizona football team.

I like the team. I went to the school, but I’ve never been to a game.

A radio talk show discussed why more people don’t go to the game. I’ll tell you why I don’t go. Because I’m lazy, and I don’t want to spend the money.

Making the game an event in my life takes work. If I really wanted to show dedication to the team, I’d show up, dress crazy and lose my voice every week.

I don’t, because I don’t care that much. If I wanted to show the team how much they mean to me I’d do everything I could to get in their faces and tell them I really appreciate them.

In a similar way worship is our way to give back to God.

We probably haven’t broken down in our minds that a church gathering consists of receiving and giving. The teaching is for us to receive something from God. Tithes and offerings are for us to give back, and worship is for us to give back.

I think our mindset is that we do church, and don’t see it as a receive and give with God.

When we worship we need give by putting forth a worthy effort. It won’t always be easy. Most of the time it probably won’t feel overwhelmingly worshipful before we start.

Worship is something we do toward God; it is not something God does to us. We are responding to who God is. God’s awesomeness demands we put forth a strong effort.

We make worship good or bad, not God. Will you put forth the effort to make it great?

This means we don’t always get to worship according to how we feel. Sometimes we just have to choose. Choose wisely.





becoming what you worship

4 11 2009

Psalm 115:4-8

Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.

Why is who/what you worship important? Because you become what you worship.

This is actually connected to last week’s post. Last week we saw that the Hebrews exchanged their glory for that of an ox. They became something less than human in worshiping an idol.

So continuing my story… The very next week in Sunday school we studied Psalm 115 and I found another interesting and related (to the previous post) thought by the psalmist.

First he describes the idols and all their shortcomings. Then in verse 8 he hits the reader hard. He proclaims that those who make them will become like them.

When we worship anything less than God we then limit who we are.

It’s easy to accept this when we think about worshiping non-God things such as money, relationships, careers, reputation, etc.

The hard part is realizing that for the most part worship songs fail to capture the completeness of God.

The even harder part is realizing that by limiting God in our worship we are limiting our life in Him.

This should inspire us to do is to continually dig into the word of God to discover more of who He is so that we will become more of who He made us to be.

Strive to worship God in His fullness, by doing so you will not limit what you become.