Styles of Worship…

It seems to me that excitement and passion for God are valid elements that help make up a redeemed communities praise and worship service.  As Christians it is easy to become people of extremes.  For example we could focus so much attention on the holiness of God and on what it means to really fear God that we may miss the joy and excitement of being a redeemed people (community).  At the same time we may focus so much attention on needing to be joyful and excited that we could miss the importance of the holy reverence and fear that God’s worshipers should possess because after all He is a Holy, Holy, Holy God.  The Christian life is often full of tensions; tensions that need to be considered from time to time.

I personally believe that if everyone at our church lived fully for Christ each week that when we gathered corporately on Sunday we’d probably shake the sanctuary…The overflow of a grateful heart in my estimation is worship.  Gratitude leads to adoration. 

Now with that said, Christians often respond to theological praise songs and/or hymns differently.  C.J. Mahaney’s reformed charismatic church is likened unto a Christian rock service where people dance, raise their hands, head bang, etc to the glory of God.  A more traditional church like John MacArthur’s is quite different.  The sanctuary is still rocking as people sing their hearts out to God but the tone is much different than C.J.’s.    I know one man at our church told me the last time he was at Grace Church he cried throughout the whole worship service…He was lifted upward to heights of heaven in song, special music, Scripture reading, etc.  Bruce Ware told me his wife had a similar experience while worshipping at C.J.’s church.   

I believe our Senior Pastor has tried to help our people understand that personal and cooperate worship can take on various expressions.  As its been rightly said: “All spirit and no truth and the church blows up.  All truth and no spirit and the church dries up.  All Spirit and all truth and the church grows up.”   

This past Sunday one person in our church (may have) expressed this passion through raising his arms high in the sky (which happened).  I responded singing out heartedly unto the Lord yet in a more “conservative” fashion.  In short, I believe people can worship in Spirit and truth and still have it look differently.   

Perhaps a potential danger in my expression of worship is that it could lead to joylessness and can become dry or stale.   Perhaps the danger in a more expressive (charismatic) form of worship is that one could turn his or her worship into an emotional experience instead of having Divine truth move one’s spiritual affections.  When divine truth impacts our hearts and our heads I believe people well worship the King with passion and enthusiasm.  None the less, this spiritual passion for God is often expressed differently from congregation to congregation and from person to person.   

I think all of us here at E.T. desire (both in our own lives and in our peoples lives) to participate in passionate enthusiastic worship of our amazing God and Lord…Worship that is befitting the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

2 responses to this post.

  1. Our worship should be balanced with both spirit and truth for seeketh such to worship him (cf. John 4:23-24). Here is a simple and often forgotten few principles in our “Burger King” worship:

    First, our worship must be directed to God and not self or false gods.

    Second, our worship must be in spirit and not with dissimulation or complusion.

    Third, our worship must be in truth and not according the the whims and wishes of men.


  2. Great thoughts Rick.


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