My random ramblings...
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37v4.   
Saturday, August 27, 2005
"when we face up to the glory of God we find ourselves facedown in worship" - Matt Redman

i've been thinking a lot recently for different reasons... about worship... Well at least it's something i've been passionate about for many years, and a passion that i've been sharing with the young people of Kenmure, especially over the past year or so... helping them to really come to terms with what worshipping God really means... not what tradition tells us it means, but what God expects of us as worshippers.

Right now, my heart is torn... because i think about the worship at our church in your average service and it jars with me. I know that to some people they see the music as great because it makes for a pleasant service... they know the hymns, and admittedly there is sound theology in most, if not all of those hymns... But is that good enough? surely you dont have time to let the truth that you're singing filter down into your heart while you're singing hymns... the emotion just isn't given time to rise... I was in discussion with an individual about worship in the church recently... and they claimed that modern worship essentially does not fit with our church 'practically' in that old people find it hard to stand for large blocks of songs... others just don't LIKE modern songs...

I found myself sitting agreeing with this person (well i didn't have a HUGE amount of choice) that when leading worship in church, lead worshippers need to be aware of the practical needs and preferance of the individuals who they are serving...

but in my heart my soul is just screaming "no that's not right at all!!!" Is worship not a sacrifice to God????? Is worship not something which we should be spending allllll of our energy just focusing on him... not the fact that our legs or arms or whatever are getting tired, but that we are in God's presence and that we are giving him all that we have to give??? If i'm working with young people who currently find the church inaccessible because of the current worship choice, then is it not fair that they too get their 'preferance'????? (going along this individuals thinking of course).

Hmmm... I haven't really got anything against the majority of old hymns... i tend to have more of a problem with service structure when it doesn't allow for response... I tend to have more of a problem when we're singing old hymns like 'o happy day' or the final verse to 'Amazing grace' and not ONE person is smiling, or showing any sign of emotion whatsoever.... Have we as a church totally missed the meaning of worship? If we are indeed meeting in God's presence every week and coming together in 'worship' then why is it that we fail to see the otherness of God and his awesome glory shining around us? Is it because it's not there??? no. I believe it's there... it's just as always... we're choosing to ignore it... we're not opening our hearts for God to really speak to us. As quoted at the beginning of this post... it's true that "when we face up to the Glory of God we find ourselves facedown in worship"... there are sooooooooo many exmaples of people in the bible coming into the glory of God and falling facedown in his presence... what makes us so different that we think that we're worthy of staying upright???! Do we continue to be conservative worshippers just because the pews get in your way of trying to bow down to God??? do we continue to refuse to raise our hands because the person on our left or our right would think we're weird???! Surely it's only us reaching out to God that counts?????

My question now is... In Kenmure we have a relatively good Youth Band... they aren't really into hymns (although having said that we'll be getting stuck into some of the old classics in the next couple of months) but they are becoming really free at worshipping God and just letting him move through them... the dilemma is this... if they were to lead worship in a service at Kenmure, but the congregation just aren't open to God... then what? We have a worship band that God's totally speaking to, and then the congregation just stand there gawping at them????! Either that of course, or the band remain sensitive to the congregation and the fact that due to their lack of openess they're just not getting 'into' it, and so the band end up extremely discouraged... something just doesn't add up when it comes to spectator worship.... Looking for what I want all the time is missing the point... the reason the young people like to sing certain songs is because it helps them to feel close to God... how many of the congregation can say that truthfully about any of the songs they would 'prefer'?? (seeing as they never show any emotion or signs of revelation...)

I played a particular song last night at inspired called 'facedown' as part of our meditation and prayer ministry time at the beginning of the session... and one of the individuals ended up getting very emotional and really crying out to God for help with certain issues that she was struggling with... she was open to God... that is the key - she was OPEN. It took one song... even only listening to that one song and she was aware of God's presence around her and her need of Him to help her with the things she was struggling with, and even though there was a room of other folk, she, her friend and i sat in a wee huddle praying over it all... spending some time with God... i could have chosen to ignore the situation... let her cry it out without me intervening... but God showed me a hurting soul and i knew i had to respond and show her that God was with her...

Here's another question... if that situation had happened within a normal church service, what would have happened???... let me rephrase that, coz i know that if that exact same situation had happened with the girl that i would probably have reacted the same... but if it were an adult that broke down... what would happen??? I can pretty much guarrantee that those around them would probably turn a blind eye... i mean realisitically i don't htink any minister or pastor would stop what they're doing and ask if the person would like to have someone pray with them... in fact i think in some cases such an offer would be frowned upon... another question... is this bringing us closer to God? or taking us farther away from Him? If we are not encouraging eachother to turn to him and be open to him in something as 'simple' as worship then what does that do for the rest of our lives?

well i don't think i really answered any questions there, in fact i think i probably created plenty... when is the church going to realise that God is so BIG and so AWESOME that we have no right to walk into church on a Sunday morning and just let everything that happens wash off us like water off a ducks back... it's not meant to be that way!!!! our hearts are hard to the ways of God....

i'm becoming a true believer that if you can't sing the words of a song with all your heart, then don't sing them at all.
posted by TLT @ 2:41 am  
  • At 11:33 pm, Anonymous Dad said…

    Check this passage out to see if has anything to say about your worship dilema

    Matthew 7:5-7 (New International Version)

    New International Version (NIV)
    Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

    5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

    6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

    Ask, Seek, Knock

    7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

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Name: TLT
Home: Glasgow, United Kingdom
About Me: I'm a youthworker with a church in the North of Glasgow... I enjoy watching films 'n surfing the net 'n hanging out with friends...
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