One of the reasons I am glad we aren’t just The Eastside Church is because of the resources The Vineyard makes available to the churches in its association. For example, they have a church-planting magazine called Cutting Edge that is published quarterly. A week ago the latest issue arrived in my mailbox and it was all about worship.
As our Advisory Board has been thinking and praying through what “version 2.0” of worship will look like at our church, this issue was literally a God-send. Here are some quotes from it that impacted me. As you read these I suggest you don’t just tear through the list. Instead read them one at a time and spend some time processing each one:
- It’s not about just singing songs — it’s about singing and believing that Someone is listening.
- Do we believe the things that we are singing?
- We should be singing TO God, not just ABOUT Him.
- John Wimber asked, “What does God get out of our worship when we just come here and go through the motions?”
- An integral part of any Sunday morning experience, sometimes worship from the heart is given a back seat to stage production, showmanship, and sound systems.
- It’s more about the meal itself than the fancy plates it’s served on. It’s simply about us being with Him.
- It is perhaps the same sense of consumerism in our popular culture that causes worship leaders to “sell” the experience and worshippers to critique it: “I didn’t like that set today.”
- Worship is an infinitely bigger idea than the music we often define it by in our contemporary worship settings.
- The pressure to create a professional-sounding and engaging set can overshadow the importance of inviting God’s presence and leading others to respond.
- We are engaging in a spiritual act of self-offering in response to God’s great love. And music happens to be one of the vehicles through which we do that. There are a thousand other vehicles as well.
- You’re a worship leader, not a performer. It is about getting people to express their love to Jesus.
- I’m of the belief that God can move in the moment, in a spontaneous way. I also believe that God can speak in advance [when] we follow [the set list] “by the book.” It’s easy to fall to one side of the ditch or the other. But we should always leave room for God to interact with us in the middle of a worship gathering.
- In fact, I just read a recent push-back on this by John Piper, who said that worship isn’t just the songs we sing. Preaching is worship too. And he’s right.
***Join us this Sunday at The Eastside Vineyard Church. As part of our service this week, our Advisory Board will be giving a brief “State of the Union” address — talking about how we have been doing as well as sharing several things that are on the horizon for us. Sunday. July 17th. 6pm. More info at tevchurch.org***