Recently I have came across a few articles that focus heavily on "Why church worship is not as engaging as it used to be." To say these blogs were disheartening would be an understatement. Why? Because worship is my lifeline to God's heart, and for me Sunday worship means so much more than singing a few songs and hearing a message. It is a time to gather with friends and family. A grand celebration, a holy time. So I had a choice in that moment after reading these blogs:
- Feed the negativity
- Do something that breeds life
As a result, here is my blog post on "4 Ways to Bring New Life Into Church Worship" *subtitled* Written by a recovering analytical, critical, and judgmental worship leader.
1. Pre-Game: The Bible says to enter God's gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. This means you might have to do some pre-game worship before you even enter into a corporate worship setting.
(This could be listening to some worship jams on your way to church or arriving early, opening up your bible, and meditating on God's Word)
2. Don't Be A Spectator: We are so inclined to wait...before we join in. This is not just with worship. We wait and talk about ideas and concepts until we feel safe to execute them or until someone has blazed the trail first. Let's walk into a worship service (contemporary or traditional - whatever style) and start engaging in what God has for us. Begin to pray for the day, share a word of encouragement with someone, write down something you are thankful for, sing, clap, dance, meditate, and maybe even smile.
3. Be Loud: While I don’t believe that music at church must always be loud, there is Scriptural support for the idea that it often should be. Here is why: Psalm 33:3 , Psalm 150:3–6, Ex. 15:19–21, Acts 16:25, Rev. 19:1–3. We gather together to celebrate and proclaim our salvation through the work of Jesus Christ. This is good reason to celebrate! Far to often our church services feel like a funeral or a place of death than a place of hope and new life. After all, He is alive!
4. Posture: Our non-verbals say a lot about our worship. For example, in a time of war when an army is defeated, they would raise a white flag of surrender or throw up their hands to say, "I give up!" We do the same in our worship settings. We say to God, "I Surrender!" But unlike my war example, God offers freedom instead of defeat. When you are at a big game and an amazing play happens, you stand to your feet with joy and excitement applauding your team. I know, sometimes our churches are not 10,000+ people at an arena, but are we excited about what God is doing in our lives? There are many postures in worship...here are just three examples for you to try next time you enter into a corporate worship setting:
1. Bowing - Psalm 95:6 says, "Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker."
2. Standing - Psalm 119:120 says, "My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws."
3. Dancing - Psalm 149:3 says, "Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp."
If you engage in any of these things during your next church service, I guarantee it will bring something refreshing and new to your worship and your church.
Lastly, I want to make something abundantly clear:
I love the Church! I love the church that sings hymns, I love the church that sings 90s classics, I love the church that is writing all new music. I love the organ and I love the guitar. I love wearing a suit and I love wearing jeans. I love responsive readings and the people who are with me during those moments, because I love the Church. I don't just love the church that plays all my favorite tunes or does things the way I like them. I love the Bride of Christ. It's a messy, broken collective that is bent on bringing the hope of Jesus to the world.