The worship segment of church services has evolved over the years and along with that came great debate on worship styles and the appropriateness of the use of some of the more uncommon styles like rap and rock. The use of instruments, styles and effects that are more commonly associated with popular, secular music has been criticised for being too “showy” and “performance-like”. Also, the heavy focus on creating perfect music and orchestration has also been criticised for leaving out the object of worship.
While these concerns are valid, they assume that the responsibility for the worship session lies in the hands of the worship team. Indeed, the worship team plays a large role in facilitating and helping the church worship the Lord corporately. However, are we missing out what we come to church to do week after week? Do we come to church expecting something out of worship instead of bringing something to the Lord?
We should be worrying about the state of our hearts when we come in to church to worship. Are we in the right frame of mind and heart to worship God? We are not here to experience worship; we are here to worship. If we rush into service late, how are we to prepare our hearts? If we are thinking about how the songs are always the same, or that the music is too loud, how are we to focus on worshipping God?
The Bible teaches us to worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24) and that these are the kind of worshippers that God desires. True worship must be “in Spirit”, involving the whole heart with passion for God. On the other hand, true worship must be “in Truth”. We cannot possibly mouth praises to a God we do not really know (how can you love someone you do not know?). Spirit without Truth leads to overly-emotional displays of worship that are shallow and can be compared to an artificial high. Conversely, Truth without Spirit can result in dry, ritualistic and passionless encounters that seem dead. Hence, both are required for true and joyous worship of God.
Something I read online struck me deeply. It said (paraphrased) that there is no perfect church; no perfect sound system or worship environment or air-con temperature. However, there is a perfect God who is in charge of our imperfect church. I would like to urge us all to forget the distractions and to focus on worshipping God whole-heartedly, loving Him and His people and exuding the grace that Christ has for us.
Brother Amos Ghui