Worship and daily living. If you will indulge me, here are some thoughts about what we should avoid in our worship and some applications for our daily life.
Negative #1: Worship is all about me.
With the great variety of musical styles and options available to us in this age, added to the fact that we are in an extremely consumer driven environment, together with massive handouts from the government, it not surprising to see consumer driven worship in the Christian church. However surprising, this is wrong; the bible tells us to be in the world but not of it. This attitude of self-centered worship makes itself manifest in several ways in the modern church. First, we see the explicit allegiance with a specific musical or preaching style, i.e. Hymns, Band, storytelling, expository preaching etc. The second way this idea is pronounced is by the plethora of complaints that Worship Leaders and Pastors endure on a weekly and daily basis. They are complaints such as: “The drums we too loud!” “The second point in your sermon offended me!” Even sadder is that most people are not “man” enough to say these things to our faces, so they will revert to gossip.
Negative #2: Worship is all about the way we feel.
Feelings are dangerous—especially in worship. Music is amoral it can be used for good or evil, and music has the power to sway. The Greeks used the word catharsis, educators use the word aesthetics. When this inherent power is applied to worship, that power is magnified. This gives rise to belief that worship is based upon experience only and not head knowledge. However, it is the “head knowledge” that gives substance to our feelings—knowledge is feeling’s system of checks and balances–so to speak.
Negative #3: Worship must be done my way.
It’s my way or the highway. I heard that statement growing up from my father and now that I have a child, I must confess that I say it to him. This is the same attitude that is present in today’s church. We see it—in one way—in the form of multiple services. One of the current fads in the church today is to offer multiple, separate worship services on Sunday morning. While this is not a bad idea if the church needs the space because of growth, it can easily contribute to the “my way” thought. It is not uncommon to see a church have a contemporary service at 8AM, a blended service at 9:30 AM and then a traditional service at 11AM. Many times this buffet of services, if you will, only serves the purpose to provide opportunities for the church to pick and choose to worship in the way they please.
Application: Worship and Evangelism
2 Corinthians 23-25 tells us that when we worship biblically—when our songs are inspired by the Word and we are focusing totally on God, one in thought and spirit— the lost will be without excuse. The scripture goes on to say that people who experience this type of worship will have such a realization of God that they will fall down on their faces and say that God is among us. So many times we think that worship just deals with the “Church” (edification) but worship also has lasting consequences when unbelievers are present. If we would just apply this concept for our worship and daily life, what consequences would you sow? We should worship in such as was as to have unbelievers convicted because they sense the presence of God.