Forget About Singing, God Wants Us to Worship Him HIS way
What is worship and how do we as christians go about doing it? Is it the 30-45 minutes we spend singing at church with others each week? Is it the 20-35 minutes we spend listening to a sermon at that same gathering? Is it the money we contribute to our congregations to keep the doors open? Is worship the time we give to volunteer in the parking ministry or Children’s church?
Let me state as clearly as I can, so that there is no misunderstanding: I think that all the things I just mentioned can unequivocally be considered acts by which people worship God. I just don’t think that doing them necessarily equals worship. I am not advocating that we stop singing, even though the title of this post might lead to that conclusion.
My friends, I have been giving this a lot of thought lately. In part, because I have become so disillusioned with the contemporary church model that claims to be all about worship. I’ve been to 30+ different congregations, all focused on “worship”. It seems that all we are doing is singing songs and calling that worship. Worship appears to have become an event that we grade or a product we consume. Does anyone else find that troubling?
People are always defining worship. Most start off their definition with some form of the following statement: “Worship is more than a song….”. I find this very misleading. It is as if we are saying that worship is primarily about the song, but it’s also more than that. Is it? Does the Bible anywhere define worship as a song one sings? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to state that the biblical record makes very little mention of worship as a song? If biblical worship does not even remotely resemble a song we sing, why do we in the contemporary church dedicate so much time, space and money to it? Why do we spend so much time debating it and fighting over it? Why are we tearing churches apart because of it? I suspect it has more to do with what we like and what we want more than our commitment to shape our lives by the bible.
What troubles me the most about this concept of worship as a song is that it cheapens worship. It minimizes it. It makes it an event we can check in and out of, rather than a life we constantly strive to live.
I have written about this in other posts like Does God Care How We Worship?, Worship Leader Make-Over: Defining the Goal of a Worship Leader, Blasphemy! If You Want the Congregation to Worship More, Try Singing Less, and Does God Give Us Freedom To Worship Him Anyway WE Want to? and many others. If this topic interests you, give them a read and then subscribe to this blog so you will be notified of new articles as they are posted. .
Those of you who read this blog know that I am a full-time musician (a guitar player no less) who loves music. I love singing about our Savior, who He is and what He has done on our behalf. I am glad that God gave us the gift of music and have no problem with it being utilized in worship. Still, I am troubled by the direction “worship” is taking. Perhaps you are too. Feel free to jump into the discussion and share your own take on this topic.
Posted on September 11, 2011, in Christianity, Contemporary Church Culture, Theology, Worship and tagged christianity, entertainment, faith, Not For itching Ears, religion, seeker-sensitive, singing, spirituality, worship, Worship Leading. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.