Archives For Scripture

Worship that isn’t based on Christ, the cross, and the Word of God is worship that is based on emotion and feeling without truth. As worship leaders, we play a role in the spiritual teaching and shepherding of the people we have the privilege of leading.

These familiar passages should be at the forefront of our minds:

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim 4:1-2)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)

It is important to be building a strong connection between what we do in worship and the Scriptures in people’s minds. To help reinforce the basis of why we do what we do and why we live the way we live. I think it’s unfortunate when the only time people encounter the Word of God in a service is during the message.

But, how can we weave the Scriptures into the worship service? Continue Reading…

The Bible is more than just a rule book, and more than just a bunch of stories. It is the revelation of God. It paints a vivid picture of God’s love for mankind. It shows us the vastness and wonder of God’s inherent character.

Why is this important in the realm of worship? What is the connection between true worship and God? True worship is worship that happens in spirit and in truth (John 4). Without an accurate picture of God, our worship can’t be truthful, spirit-filled, connective, or meaningful. We will find ourselves in a trap of redundant and ritualistic worship without meaning or authenticity. But seeking to understand God’s nature, His true nature, frees us from redundant worship.

How does redundant worship take over in our lives? It happens when our vision of God is limited by our own experience instead of the expressive revelation of who He is. When we let our understanding of God be shaped solely by our own limited experience, we put God in a box of our own design. Putting God in this box (which can’t contain Him anyway), makes our worship limited and flat.

The good news is that the Bible gives us a clear picture of consistent and dynamic worship of God. In every situation where people encounter the true and unchanging nature of God, worship immediately follows. We see this in the life of Abraham, Moses, David, Job, Elijah, Isaiah, and many others.

In fact, the unchanging nature of God was so real to the Apostle Paul, that his writings often include periods of expressive worship that momentarily break from his train of thought. The reality, though, is that there really isn’t a break because sound truth and theology should always result in a true expression of worship. We see this in Paul’s writings in 1 Timothy. Twice in this letter Paul breaks into praise, using what is believed to be early Christian worship language, in response to the truth of God being revealed. In 1 Timothy 1:17, he writes, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” in response and gratitude for the great mercy of God.

Again, at the end of the letter in 1 Timothy 6:15-16, Paul again expresses praise. Even in the midst of the very practical matters that Paul is writing about, he cannot escape the overwhelming truth and centrality of God. He says, “God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

These examples should serve to remind us who the God we are called to worship truly is, why He is worthy of our worship, and why worship is something we should engage in with our whole being. A true vision of God formed by the truth of Scripture will result in majestic and expressive worship in spirit and truth that happens in a way that engages all of who we are (emotions, intellect, spirit, body) in response to all of who God is.

Are you finding worship to be uninspiring, routine, or redundant? May I suggest you revisit who the God who has made a way for you to be redeemed truly is? Perhaps your vision and understanding of God needs to burst out of the box it’s been placed in and find a new expression capturing the wonder and majesty of the Creator of the universe. Then, together, we can truly express, “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

How does God’s Word influence your journey of worship?

(Come back tomorrow for a list of practical suggestions of how to incorporate the Scriptures into a service of worship.)

Our journey through the letters of the Apostle John continued this week as we continue to explore what it means to love God and love others. Our desire is that we not just know more about the connection between our relationship with God and relationship with others, but that we are actually growing in both areas. This week, we focused on 1 John 4:7-17.

Again, John reminds those reading of the good news of Jesus, God’s love, and the great forgiveness that is available through Christ and that our response to that is both love for God and love for others. It may seem that many of these Sunday have had similar themes, but they are important themes. Sometimes camping out on an important principle like this is vital to fully grasping and incorporating it into our lives. Continue Reading…

Worshiping Together: 10/10/10

Chris  —  October 13, 2010

As we gathered this week, we continue in our series about the church. As we looked at who we are, our foundation, our identity, and why we exist, we turned the corner this week to begin dealing with some of the practical matters of how we live as the Body of Christ.

This week was about relationships, and it was a journey getting to this particular Sunday. Our original Scripture focus was going to be Ephesians 4:1-6, 22-32. However, due to a number of events, we ended up with a hole in our speaker schedule. We ended up looking to a guest speaker, who happened to be the brother-in-law of our youth pastor who is a pastor in Canada. He had a sermon he had done recently that was in the ballpark, but not exactly what we had originally planned. We trusted God that he would speak the message that needed to be heard, and moved ahead. Continue Reading…

Sorry that I have not been as consistent in posting lately. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on and some things happening. This will be a quick recap, but I at least wanted to get this up for those of you who look forward to this.

This was the final Sunday of “The Hand-Off”, and the final Sunday of our senior pastor. We’ve spent the last three Sunday preparing for this time of transition. In the midst of all that, we’ve also been getting ready and gearing up for the fall ministry season. It’s been busy.

We began the service with welcome, announcements, and a time of greeting. We then had six children dedicated to the Lord.

One of our team members lead in the call to worship from Psalm 100:4-5, and then we sang O Worship the King (Grant/Gardiner/Tomlin), Be Unto Your Name (DeShazo/Sadler), and Praise the Father, Praise the Son (Cash/Tomlin). Leading into Be Unto Your Name, we had scripture from Psalm 24:1-6 read. Following the third song, we had a time of prayer and confession and scripture from Philippians 3 about not putting confidence in the flesh but our faith in Christ. I didn’t realize until later that all three of these songs were in 3/4 time, but our drummer did a great job giving them depth and body.

We then moved into the offering, and sang How Great Is Our God (Tomlin/Reeves/Cash) during it and invited people to stand toward the end.

We then moved into the message which was based out of Acts 20:17-38 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 and was focused on reminding to be faithful. Part was directed at the congregation and the other part was directed at the elders. Partway through the message, we took a moment to welcome new members into the church.

Following the message, we had a time of prayer for our senior pastor and his family as they transition. We had some folks sing the classic song “Find Us Faithful”, and then the senior pastor closed the service by praying one final time over the congregation.

We had a strong attendance, and I know that many people came to celebrate and connect one final time with a man who has pastored this congregation for over ten years. For many it is a bittersweet time as he leaves, but we also recognize a new season and are faithful to trust in God for what He will do.

To check out what other churches did this past Sunday, be sure to check out the Sunday Setlists posted at The Worship Community. Thanks for stopping by.

It’s been a while since I last recapped one of our services. Sorry about that. I’ve had stuff going on, and haven’t given much attention to the blog. We’ve continued to work through our summer series, Blockbuster Messages.

This past week we focused on the end of the world. Movies like 2012 paint a picture of destruction, fear and hopelessness. Yet, while the Bible also paints some vivid pictures of the end of the world, it even more so draws our attention to remember that the end of the world is coming, that we don’t know when, and that if we are in Christ Jesus, there is no reason to fear. If we live with a biblical worldview, then we will be ready and not caught off guard.

The messages we are receiving though the media are constant and often in contrast with biblical truth. We must be aware and constantly evaluating according to the Bible. Continue Reading…

Came across this a few weeks ago on one of the worship pastor blogs I regularly read. It’s an amazing intersection of Scripture and art. It’s a little bit of a longer video, but well worth the time. I hope that you are inspired by Makoto Fujimura’s (the artist) approach, passion, and desire to express and worship God visually. Not only is the art fascinating, but the opportunities it is providing are really cool, too. Enjoy!

(Thanks, Chris)

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