Faith

Finding Fulfillment in Personal Worship

I have very strong feelings about worship. Worship has opened many doors for me in ministry and gives life to my personal relationship with Jesus. It has been a continual study of mine, and I think it about it so much i even wrote a book about it.

According to one personality profile, music is so important to who I am that not having it in my life for an extended time can actually be harmful to my mental health, and the vast majority of the music in my life is worship related.

Worship is a powerful element of our life in Jesus Christ. It isn’t something new, finding purpose because of the growth of the worship music industry. Quite the opposite, actually. It is because of our inner desire for and benefit from worship that kept lead worshipers going and be able to take advantage of today’s technologies to explode worldwide.

But maybe you go to church and wonder what the big deal is about worship. Maybe you haven’t grabbed hold of what it can mean for you. You are not necessarily opposed to the music at church, it just does not affect you like it does others. You love God, but this worship thing is not really a “need” in your life.

In a previous post I talked about how COVID-19 is giving us an opportunity to rediscover personal worship, to spend time with God, singing to and about Him, all on our own. This post cracks the idea of how it is different from congregational worship and bit of how to make it happen.

Continue reading “Finding Fulfillment in Personal Worship”
Ministry

Explaining and Teaching During Services (Removing Roadblocks to Experience)

Have you ever wondered what seekers feel when they come to your church? One of the most common reasons people give as to why they will not attend a service is because they don’t know what to do or feel like they will not know what is going on.

As preachers and worship leaders, we can help make it easier for people to overcome that hurdle. Sometimes all it takes is an explanation for 30 seconds or less. Doing so opens the door for acquiring the small bit of knowledge to launch a seeker into a participant.

Years ago I learned a very important lesson about preaching: Don’t assume the people listening know what you are talking about.

Whether we consider our time as the post-church era or recognize how many people have little to no history within the Church or knowledge about the Bible, to understand the knowledge divide between the pulpit/platform and the pew is essential.

Continue reading “Explaining and Teaching During Services (Removing Roadblocks to Experience)”
courtesy of StockSnap.io; by Allef Vinicius
Church Life, Ministry

Seven Tips for When Your Worship Leader Teaches a New Song

A recent post by a respected church leader described several trends in the church that give him hope. One of these was the settling down of the “worship wars”, the clash within churches over worship styles. As he says, “We have wasted far too much time and resources insisting on our preferences rather than engaging in true worship”.

While I hope this is true on a larger scale, I still see many churches in worship lockdown. Either the battle hasn’t been fought yet, or it is just beginning.

One of the biggest issues is knowing what to do when a worship leader teaches a new song to the congregation. When you hear your music or worship leader leader say the words, “We have a new song for you today,” let these Seven Tips help you on the path of discovery.

Continue reading “Seven Tips for When Your Worship Leader Teaches a New Song”

Christian Living, Ministry

The Spiritual Side of Singing in the Church

In a previous post I began writing a response to a popular article floating around the internet. In one of the weekly e-newsletters I received today, another article just posted as another chain in the dialogue this topic has created. Though many churches maintain a high caliber of musician and vocalist for the churches, there continues to be a percentage of our congregations that are not participating in this very biblical portion of our services.

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The first post talked about some practical ways to create an environment that invites as many as are willing to join in worship. That is just one side of the coin when it comes to this concern. Quite often, this is the only side that is addressed in these internet articles. Change the key; stop singing “girly” love songs; make church “manly” again. Some of those ideas are great ideas. But addressing the practical issues of singing in our churches is only half the battle.

Worship is a spiritual act, after all. While it involves physical rules like musical scales, keys and chords, it is a spiritual offering from a spiritual individual to the only true God. Therefore we have to examine whether there are any spiritual reasons for the lack of participation in worship.

Continue reading “The Spiritual Side of Singing in the Church”

Christian Living, Ministry

The Practical Side of Singing in the Church

This week I was asked to comment on an article that has found its way around the internet again. The article itself is a few years old, but like all hot-button topics on the web, it comes and goes in cycles. Having seen it pop up again recently on Facebook, it was already on my radar. It is one of many that question some of the practices and mindsets regarding contemporary worship in our churches, and seeking to explain why many aren’t joining in congregational singing.

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Normally I stay away from discussions like this. I don’t jump in and make a lot of noise where others are already having too much fun doing it. But I don’t see anyone making the same observations I am. As a pastor and worship leader my perspective is different from the pew.

Not that the writer of the article is out to harm anyone. On the contrary, I have seen and listened to him teach in person. He genuinely wants to help Christians, specifically men, find and assume their Scriptural place as part of the Body of Christ. Still, there is always more to any situation than just one of us can see. So I’d like to offer some “real” reasons people are not joining in when the music starts at church.

To help us out I’d like to break these reasons into two categories. We will look at one in this post, and the other in a follow-up.

Continue reading “The Practical Side of Singing in the Church”

Christian Living

Guest Post: “Unacceptable” Worship

Today’s post was written by Sam Hohman. When I was in Bible College he was part of the staff and one of his more obvious roles was worship leading. I greatly respect Sam and believe that we share a similar heart for worship. He wrote this post for his Facebook account. When I asked if I could repost it here he was gracious enough to allow me. Sam currently serves as Worship Pastor for Faith Memorial Church in Sandusky, Ohio.

I am reading today out of Leviticus 22:17 and on… and the online verses sent to me from www.biblegateway.com entitle this section: “Unacceptable Sacrifices”. It describes specifically what kind of animal must be brought as a sacrifice (a “freewill offering” or to fulfill a vow) – one without any defect, and a male (and it describes the possible defects).

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Those of you who, like me, grew up in a church that was Assemblies of God or similar, probably remember the song way back in the 80’s, “We bring the sacrifice of praise, into the house, of the Lord; we bring the sacrifice of praise, into the house, of the Lord! And we offer up to You, the sacrifices of thanksgiving; and we offer up to You, the sacrifices of joy!” Admit it. You just sang that in your head. And you also did the motions in your head. Come on, you know you did… you may have even continued in your mind to “This Is the Day” or “What a Mighty God We Serve”. If so, man, were you an A/G person! You can stop grinning now, ‘cause you are the one I’m talking about, you know who you are.

I know that in Leviticus, the instructions given by God were not referring to worship and praise, especially not as we practice it today, with music, usually at the beginning of our church services. But the word “sacrifice” got me thinking, and, more specifically, “unacceptable” got me really thinking. Continue reading “Guest Post: “Unacceptable” Worship”