I wrote this blog a few years ago, but felt like re-sharing it because I still find the concepts to be relevant. Hope it encourages you!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
“I loved worship today! The band was so good, I was really able to get into it!”
Have you heard this before? If so, maybe you’ve heard this as well:
“I didn’t like worship today, the band was off. I wasn’t able to get much from it.”
Two totally different statements; two completely identical topics. What determines “good worship,” and how do we, as worship leaders facilitate it?
Therein lies the problem, and in my opinion, one of the scariest issues the Westernized church faces today. Critiquing worship. Somewhere along the lines, we as the Church have created the idea that worship is about what I can get from it – what God is going to do for me.
I recently led worship for a Jr. High camp of about fifty students. I was hanging out with a small group of guys, one of which seemed troubled. At the end of our group conversation, I asked him how he was doing. With a disappointed look on his face, he said, “I don’t know.” “Why?” I asked. He began explaining to me how much he LOVES music, and how when he hears a song on the radio that really moves him, he can’t help but get excited and sing along. He then explained how some of the songs we sang at camp didn’t do the same for him (don’t worry, I didn’t take it too personally). He didn’t feel anything during worship, and would almost refuse to sing. Something interesting struck me after our little chat: I realized that even at this young age, kids are facing the same issues adults are facing as the gathered church:
We’re forgetting our object of worship.
We are all worshippers of something; whether it be our job, a relationship, or even our new iPhone (that one hits home for me). But when it comes to what matters, the majority of us would suggest that Jesus is the center of our worship. We participate in all the routine activities of a church gathering, yet still find dissatisfaction in it all. The question must be asked: Do we truly have our sights set on the one who truly deserves our worship?
As a worship leader, I sometimes struggle with what to say when I hear someone comment on the quality of worship they experienced that day. Of course I appreciate positive feedback when someone has a good experience. Nevertheless, I constantly have to remind myself that worship is NOT about what a person gleans from it, rather, the act of blessing God through a heart of honest and true adoration. Less focus on me, and more on Jesus.
I know that not every person in our particular church body struggles with this, but I’m confident I’m not the only one who has felt this way. My heart in this is to encourage worship leaders and worshippers alike to refocusing our hearts on more than what worship can do for “us,” but more so on what our worship means to God. Let’s encourage our churches to move from emotionalism and selfish motives to authentic acts of reverence towards the One who has bought our lives for a price; the ONLY one who deserves our praise.