worship is a response

***Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about the concept of worship. But not just worship in general, specifically worship through music. The thoughts that I write below are just a few that i’ve been pushing around in my head, but i know that i have way further to go. i’m currently spending some time reading and thinking about this concept…and would love for you to join the conversation.

Music is a powerful force….one of the most powerful of our culture. If our goal is to reach this generation for Christ, why would we not use the most influential avenue possible? Music is a way to express something that sometimes words have a hard time of doing. This is one way we express our adoration of our Creator when sometimes we don’t have words.

We pursue excellence in our music because we want to glorify God with our absolute best. That should be the one and only reason for our pursuit of excellence…to glorify Him alone. But unfortunately, it’s also because we live in a superficial world of people who will be more distracted with poor quality of music than if it was done with great quality. People expect the best. If we want to reach a consumerisic generation that has everything catered to them, we must target them with excellence and relevance.

But the success of worship does not come if a band sounds like U2. It comes when a person engages with the very Spirit of God. It comes when the world fades away and a person simply stands alone in the presence of God. THIS is what draws a lost soul to God. When a seeker looks around at a crowd of hungry Christ-followers deeply engaged in true worship, they have this sense that there is something bigger than them that they don’t understand, but that they want to know. They want to find out. They want to ask questions, they want to come back. So how do we get there? If we make the music a little bit louder, a little more relevant, even more excellent? Maybe if we turn the lights down? Or what if we turned the lights up? Maybe have cool designs on the screen?

I admit that even in the pursuit of excellence and relevance, this alone will not bring a person into worship. In fact, these things alone will only turn into one great show. Worship is not the initiator…it is the response. A worship leader looks around and sees blank stares from people they know are strong Christians, people fumbling through their purses, checking their text messages for the third time and the leader wonders what they’re doing wrong, wonders if it even matters, wonders if this is just a waste of 20 minutes during the service. If the Christ-followers aren’t even engaging in worship, what is really supposed to compel the non-believer to seek harder? But my question is this…have these Christ-following people been in the Word lately, hungry to hear more from God? Have they been trusting in God fully, relying on Him to provide their every need? Have they been seeking Him for guidance in the hard decisions they have to make? Have they been walking this journey every single day of the week, not just Sunday morning? Because worship is just a natural response to the love relationship they’re in with God.

So the next time we look around and see blank stares and want to close up shop, lets dig deeper than what’s happening on stage…..lets really consider if these people are being fed daily, if they’re growing daily, if they’re in a love relationship the with God of the universe. And if we find that they’re not…then we’ve got a different situation on our hands. Because chances are, it’s not about what’s happening on stage…

What do you think?


One thought on “worship is a response

  1. Awesome article……….I have played guitar for about 10 years in a church of about 500. We have since moved to a smaller community, and I have been asked to form a youth praise band and praise team. Your thoughts are my thoughts, and I appreciate you articulating them into writing!!! Thanks.

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