Worship Conference Day 2

Posted on 29. Aug, 2010 by in Worship

Today was day two of the worship conference.  We had some nice acoustic worship in the morning, with a more contemporary service this evening.  I have an eclectic selection of things to share tonight, but hopefully everything will tie together in the end!

Praise and worship has always, or at least always as long as I’ve been alive, played a prominent role in the average church service.  Some congregations still sing hymns only, some are into the latest and greatest new material, and others are somewhere in between.  No matter the genre of music played, I think there has been a general misunderstanding of the purpose and function of praise and worship in the church today.  Usually the music is seen as a prelude to the rest of the service, an introduction so to speak, maybe a means to prepare hearts to receive the message brought by the pastor.  Often times, in our time-pressed society, the music is limited to a specific time period, because “the show must go on”.  All of these views miss the true purpose of worship.

Why Do We Worship?

  1. Worship is partially vertical, between us and God.  It is us ministering to God, and God ministering to us.  As a part of this point, I want to take a little rabbit trail.  One of the speakers today was a Rodney DuCroq.  Rodney, like the other speakers for the conference, has an extensive background in leading worship, and he spoke on the 4 Faces of Worship, based on Revelations 4:7.  He taught the following regarding the 4 Beasts, and the seasons of worship they represent:
    1. The Ox (or calf)  The ox was a beast of burden, so the ox represents labor.  This is labor intensive worship, for the purpose of accomplishing things in the spirit that need to be accomplished.  This often times deals with breaking hard ground, like plowing a field that has never been plowed.  The ox also represents sacrifice, as in a sacrifice of praise.  This goes back to what I wrote about yesterday, that worship often involves dying to self, to bring about obedience to Christ.  We subjugate our own desires to accomplish His.
    2. The Man – this represents God ministering to man, as well as man ministering to man.  God wants to minister to us, so in this respect worship is vertical.  Ephesians 5:26 describes Jesus sanctifying His bride, “by the washing of water with the word”.  We need to view worship as a two way street.  We bring praise and worship to Him, but He also uses the experience to speak things into the world, either into our personal lives, or to speak things into the world that He is wanting to do.
    3. The Eagle – The eagle has great sight.  He can see for great distances, and God wants us to have His sight, His vision, concerning where we are in His grand plan.
    4. The Lion – The lion seems to represent victory, a season of praise where the people of God are exuberant in their worship, celebrating the greatness of  God.
  2. As stated above, we worship to minister to one another.  Usually in the church today, and this is true of my past worship experiences, we get into the worship service, and form our own little  ‘worship cocoon’.  We are totally focused on God, and see nothing of those around us.  God wants us to minister to one another  in our praise and worship.  Three verses bear this out.
    1. Ephesians 5:15-19 – speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, etc.
    2. Colossians 3:12-16 – teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, etc.

Why should we want to minister to one another?  Because each of us has a representation of Christ that is unique on the earth.  If I am only receiving the part of Christ that is in the worship team, I am missing out on the parts of Christ that are in the rest of the body.   We’ve discussed this issue extensively in the blogosphere as it pertains to our meetings at large, but I believe, as was shared at the conference, that this same principle applies in our worship as well.

3.  We should not be relying on the music team to lead all the worship.  In 1 Corinthians 14:26, each one had a psalm, a hymn or a spiritual song, etc.  We are all responsible to minister to one another.

4.  Worship and music are not synonymous.  Worship can be done in the context of music, but not all music represents true worship.  True worship should be an extension of a life that is lived continuously in worship of Him.

Finally, Douglas made the following point:  “”If your worship is not built into the greater context of God’s eternal purpose it lacks the ability to impact the earth.”  In other words, if we are not continually seeking to know His purposes on the earth, both seasonal and eternal, our worship will just be music sung in unison.  If we want to see our worship become truly powerful and life-changing, we must worship, again, in the context of His purposes.

So, in short form, we need to see our worship as a life-changing and world-changing interaction, between God and man, and between man and man.  It is an important ministry in and of itself, not just an intro to some other, more important thing.

Unfortunately, this is new enough information for me that I can’t provide the biblical references for all the points that were made.  If you have specific questions regarding this, please feel free to comment ad I’ll get more details.  There are probably important details I’ve left out, but if I think of other things I’ve left out or mis-stated I’ll post again later.

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