When I study the scriptures to discern what is Biblical Worship, I see a couple of things. When the Word of God is shared it demands a response. Also when I see, experience, and become the beneficiary of God’s goodness, that also demands a response. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1 NIV
Worship Motives: To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission.
Worship music is only one way we express worship to God. God is looking for worshippers that are convinced in their worship to Him (John 4:23-24). In knowing that worship is not style but a lifestyle, our lives should be completely submitted to God’s will. I believe this kind of worship is pleasing to Him. If we are truly submitted to Him and His ways, then everything we do is an act of worship: our jobs, cleaning our homes, caring for our children, coaching little league, etc. I long to see our corporate worship be the cumulative effect of committed lives that have sought to honor Jesus in all we do throughout our week. Worship is not a spectator sport. Rather, it is important and powerful when we collectively come together to lift every voice and sing. When we are leading worship on the platform, we must be sure that our lives are lived in a way that would bring Jesus honor. We cannot live a double standard. None of us are perfect, obviously, but are we living a life that lines up with the standards that God has set forth in His Word?
Worship Artistry: Artistry In the Church
Maybe I’m a little biased, but I think God has a special place in His heart for artists, because so many are mentioned in the Bible. Being an artist was one of the first occupations listed in the early days of the Old Testament, along with agriculture and industry (Gen. 4:21). There are several references to teams of musicians (Neh. 10:28–29; Ps. 150:3–5) and other artists (Ex. 31:2–6; 35:30–35). However, being an artist I realize all too well the joys and the lows that come with the territory. I want to create a culture where we artists can thrive while still being teachable, emotionally solid and humbly walking accepted before the Lord.
Worship Leadership: Serving from Fullness
Ministering on the platform is a great honor and carries with it great responsibility. As worship leaders (that is everyone who is involved on worship team, tech team, and serving on a Sunday morning, not just the “worship leader”) we have the honor of giving a vocabulary and literally leading the congregation into the presence of Almighty God. In all love, I cannot emphasize this enough. True worship does not start on the platform, it starts in our devotion and submission to God. What happens on the platform is simply an overflow of that. We cannot lead where we have never been. Each of us as worship leaders has the privilege and responsibility to be in the presence of God during the week, to live lives that are “living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.”
Over the summer I had the great joy of sharing the vision of multiple worship leaders and teams, which was met with great excitement! While this may seem new, it is actually a very traditional concept. The Levites, for example, served on a rotation basis. By doing this it allowed them to serve in a way which avoided burnout and provided the opportunity for many to be involved in the worship service. Since this vision was shared, we have seen our list of worship leaders increase by 300%. We have quadrupled our instrumentalists and have more than doubled our vocalists! One of the great benefits of having multiple worship leaders and bands is that it provides the opportunity for more of our people to serve on worship teams and in creative arts, and it also allows our church to be led by a dynamic and diverse group of leaders.