Archives For worship service

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…

Image credit: clarasoon via www.sxc.hu

Each week, there is the opportunity to gather with others to worship by expressing praise, adoration, devotion, submission, and gratitude to the King of kings and Lord of lords – to the One who paid it all when we could not. For many, it is the highlight of their week to gather with others in the name of Jesus Christ.

But for others, the perspective of this time is skewed. The gathering is just an isolated event in a weekly string of events. It’s simply one more thing to do. We do not come prepared; we leave being no different, and perhaps wonder why we came.

But when taking a broad, biblical view of worship and the body of Christ, we remember that the gathering together of the saints for worship is the culmination of a week of living worship. It is a time to come together and remember, celebrate, ponder, pray, rejoice, encourage, and be renewed. When we approach this time with our spiritual eyes open and our hearts and minds ready to engage with God and with His people, it is no longer one more thing on our calendars. It is a can’t miss encounter with the the glorious God who loves us immensely and gave His Son for our wretched sin.

Yet in the midst of messy lives, people often miss the significance of the corporate gathering. Continue Reading…

One of the most important aspects, I believe, of any worship gathering is whether or not the focus is on Christ. Is the work of Christ proclaimed through singing and speaking? Are people’s eyes and hearts drawn to the good news of the Gospel? The writings of guys like Bob Kauflin in Worship Matters (Amazon link – one of the best books I’ve read) have been huge in clarifying these thoughts for me on my journey as a worship pastor.

Recently, I ran across a very concise and clear answer to the question of “what does it mean to have a gospel-fueled worship service?” This appeared here on worship.com and is an excerpt from Don’t Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day. In this book, pastor Tullian Tchividjian (one of Billy Graham’s grandsons) answers the above question by saying:

A gospel-fueled worship service is a service where God serves the gospel to sinners in need of rescue—which includes, of course, both Christians and non-Christians. It’s a service where “the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:6) comes through prayer and preaching, sacrament and singing. As it does, we’re given the faith, hope, and love we need to be good news people in a bad news world.

The result of a gospel-fueled worship service is the exposure of both the idols of our culture and the idols of our hearts. The faithful exposition of our true Savior in every element of worship will painfully, yet liberatingly, reveal all the pseudo-saviors we trust in culturally and personally. It will disclose the subtle ways in which we as individuals and as a culture depend on lesser things than Jesus to provide the security, acceptance, identity, protection, affection, meaning, and satisfaction that all of us long for but that only Christ can supply. The praising, praying, and preaching in such a service should constantly show just how relevant and necessary Jesus is.

A gospel-fueled worship service will continually remind us that while we’re all great sinners, Christ is an all-in-all great Savior.

I am convinced that services powered by the Gospel will be gatherings where believers are encouraged and continually challenged and people are drawn to (and given the opportunity for) a life-changing relationship with the God who loves them.

What about the services you prepare, lead, or participate in? Are they gospel fueled and centered? Or is it, dare I say, simply a collection of favorite songs, topics, and Bible verses? I say that as much to myself as to anyone reading this.

If you find yourself participating in services that are gospel-fueled, encourage the ones in your church who are responsible for this. Let them know you appreciate their faithful service and obedience to God. If you find yourself in a service that isn’t so much, pray. Then gently and lovingly seek to engage the appropriate people in conversation about this. It’s incredibly helpful if you also build a relationship with them and remember that they are also seeking to honor God.

And remember, the content and style of a service isn’t always the determining factor of whether or not it is gospel-centered.

Worshiping Together: 4/25/10

Chris  —  April 27, 2010

I’ve been kind of lax in creating worship re-cap posts lately. Things have been very busy, and sometimes some stuff has to be set aside for a while. For those who have missed, I’m sorry. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back into rhythm in the next few weeks.

This week we started a new series called “Improving Our Serve.” 2 Corinthians 4:5 says, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” The theme of serving others is something that has been growing in the heart of our congregation for some time now. Each year we take time to look at this important topic.

The choosing of this title was very intentional. The clear teaching of Scripture is that the world will know the glory of God and that Christians are, well, Christians is by how we love one another, and then others. The thing is this: it needs to happen in community, not a bunch of individuals doing spiritual things. So this year, we want to not just help people grow in serving others individually, but to do so together. Continue Reading…

I know it’s a little late, but here are two video from the worship service on 2/28/10. The first is of the worship songs that we did. The second is of the message that I had the opportunity to give from John 11. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Thanks!