This isn’t a topic that I write about much. It might only be the second time that I’ve ever written about this topic, but I think it’s time that I voice my opinion.
I’ve been a part of a lot of conversations about worship. These conversation actually amuse me a little bit. They typically start by the person I’m conversing with going on some kind of rant about how they don’t like certain music or do like certain music and how they believe that their music preference should be the only one that is used in the worship service. The conversation always ends with this. “Don’t you agree, Danae’.” Ha. Okay so you just spent 15 minutes ranting about how much you dislike a certain music style and you really think that I’m going to say anything that might send you off on another rant? No. I don’t think so. So I just sorta sit silently and add my opinion here or there or just say nothing at all. But I think it’s time I actually share my opinion.
Our God deserves all of our worship. Every breath, every thought, every action should be reflecting His glory and bringing Him praise. Our churches set aside a special time each Sunday to set our hearts on God and to help us to turn our hearts to how incredible He is. But something has happened to our worship time in church. Sadly, often it’s no longer just about God and His glory. Unfortunately, worship has begun to be about selfish motives, about self worship, about personal preference and about entertainment.
I believe that it doesn’t matter if you “like” the music that is being played.
Because it’s not about you. Now granted sometimes it is nice when you really love the song that is being played, but your worship experience should not be ruined by a song that isn’t necessarily your favorite.
I believe that worship isn’t about entertaining the congregation.
Fancy lights, flashy clothes and short jokes are not a key component of worship. If the focus of the worship is on entertaining you, then that means that the focus is not on God and His glory or you and your state before Him. I don’t by any means believe that it should be boring or flat, but I also don’t believe that it’s about making you happy. That’s what shows and concerts are for.
I believe that the quality of the music matters.
Now, I understand that sometimes a church may not have access to the top musicians, but I believe the music should still be done in such a way that points to God, and is not full of mistakes or things that may distract the audience from their worship time with God. Perfect practice makes a perfect performance. If that means that you have to have a little longer rehearsal than normal, then so be it, because come Sunday it’s gonna cause focus to be off of God and on the mistakes that are being made.
I believe that the worship service should be well organized.
Just like the quality of the music is important, I also believe that worship should be well thought out and organized so as not to distract from the awesomeness of our God.
I believe that the style of music is important and all songs should be done with full commitment.
Christian Contemporary music can be done well, so as not to entertain or distract from the message or the meaning of worship. Hymns can be done in such a way as not to put to sleep or bore the congregation. It’s all about the time and effort you choose to put into the songs that you prepare for worship. If the leader of the congregation knows that they need to spice things up a little bit and maybe do a newer song but they aren’t committed to it, it will show up in the way that song is preformed and presented to the people. The same goes if a worship leader knows that they need to throw a classic hymn in the mix, but they don’t have a preference to hymns, then it will show as the hymn will come across boring and not worshipful. You also can’t count a new song out just because the people have a little trouble following along the first time it’s presented. It might take a couple Sundays for the people to learn a new song.
In conclusion, I guess that the thing that really defines my views of worship is this:
It’s not about you.
Worship isn’t about you or your preferences. Worship isn’t about keeping you awake and entertained until the sermon. Worship isn’t about hearing the newest in Christian music. Worship is a time to connect your heart. Worship is the time set aside for you to really turn your heart back to the magnitude of who God is and what He has done for you. Worship is the time for you quiet your heart, and to let Him have your burdens and your troubles. Worship is the time for you to focus on the glory of God. When you strip away all of the superfluous aspects of worship, it can become one of the best parts of your Sunday service.
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11
“Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40