Worship is more than a song
What is worship and how does creativity influence it?
In the Christian context, worship is all about expressing reverence and adoration to God. Our ideal is to live out this expression in everything that we do. Ideally, the Christian is worshiping when they are patient with their children or when they are gentle with their employee, when they are joyful in a difficult circumstance and when they are faithful to their spouse, when they go back to the checkout when they realise they’ve been undercharged for something and when they love somebody who is unlovely.
Everything that we do has the potential to be an act of worship.
This is in contrast to a commonly held misconception that worship is only the singing time inside a church building. In reality, this time of ‘worship’ for many, has become anything but worship. I read with sadness on one blog how the performance in some churches seems to have become so performance oriented that the people have stopped singing, and instead just stand as a spectator and watch the professionals do “worship” so loudly for them that even if they decided to sing along, they couldn’t hear themselves anyway, let alone the people around them. The spot lights and cameras and actors tell you where your full attention needs to be. The script is set to help build the emotion for you, but in reality your mind drifts to Sunday lunch and the late night movie you watched last night.
It can also seem like so much of our contemporary worship music is a string of repetitive cliques within a tune not that unlike the last tune, presented by somebody who is becoming wealthy telling you what to say when you sing worship. Tim Hawkins has said that the book, See Spot Run, has more spiritual depth then a lot of worship songs that he’s been hearing the past few years.
Jimmy Needham, in his song Clear the Stage, talks about getting rid of all the entrapment of a culture that believes just Sunday morning attendance alone is worship and that it’s enough. I’d strongly recommend listening to this song and using it to evaluate your personal culture. I’ve found it incredibly challenging and need to revisit it often. I’d also recommend taking 3 minutes to listen to Jimmy talk about this song.
The bottom line with worship in a church building is to check yourself honestly. Does what you are doing express reverence and adoration to God or is it actually building up idols? If your check comes up wanting, what will you do about it?
All of us have been gifted some creative form of expression. How can you use yours to deepen the Sunday morning experience? Are you a wordsmith? Can you dance? Can you make great movie clips? Can you run a sound system in such a way that everybody can hear the team of leaders as well as the people around them? Can you sew a beautiful flag for a child to dance with? What are you doing to make your corporate worship more Christ centered?
Are you in a huge church where you would never have even a remote chance of actively participating on a Sunday morning? I’d make a suggestion. Either find a smaller church that is crying out for somebody just like you or make certain you get vitally involved in a home group situation within your church where you can be free.
I’ve been thinking about this topic for a long time and no doubt need to think a lot more on it. If you believe I’ve got something wrong or missed an important point, I’d love you to let me know in the comments below.
Ever changing; Thy Kingdom come.
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