Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Archive for the ‘WORSHIP MINISTRY RESOURCES’ Category

You Know You’re a Worship Pastor When…

How do you know for sure that you really are a Worship Pastor?  Here’s a sometimes humorous and sometimes serious look at twelve ways to be sure of your calling to lead God’s people in worship.

I am with you always12  When you were called to ministry, you had no idea of the multitude of hats you would wear as a Worship Pastor.  (Some of them may include:  Technical Problem Trouble Shooter, Peacemaker, Calendar Coordinator, Instrument Repair Technician, Set Designer and Builder, Script Writer, Liaison to the Decorating Committee, Video Editor, Music Arranger, and others too numerous to mention, depending upon what is needed at your place of service.)  The blessing that you recall while juggling your responsibilities is that you are never alone, no matter what hat you may be wearing on any given day.  The Lord, your refuge, is with you… in everything that you do in His name and for the sake of the Kingdom.

11  Because you are up front and leading God’s people, they really notice (and comment on) what you wear.  Whether you are a skinny jeans and plaid shirt wearing Worship Pastor in a contemporary church, or whether you wear a suit every Sunday leading worship in a more traditional congregation, people do notice.

10  When you get together with ministry colleagues who serve in the same vocational ministry calling in their own churches, you love the fellowship time; but the main thing that you want to do together is make music and worship the Lord.

9You are very familiar with the initials CCLI, and somewhere in your office is a stack of browser packs from music publishers.*

*  Note:  CCLI is the copyright and licensing service for Christian music, which enables churches to legally project song lyrics onto screens and print them in church bulletins.  Churches must report the songs used, and all of that information is compiled to pay royalties for the usage of songs to composers and publishers.  The information is also compiled into lists of most frequently used songs from different genres, with links to different versions.  These lists can be very helpful for worship pastors.

8  Your planning tools for worship include your Bible, prayer, hymn and song books, worship song charts, your anthem and orchestration library, your praise band or rhythm section calendar showing who is in town for a given Sunday, your vocal team list and calendar, your soloist list and current rotation, your worship log of recent services and the songs sung, your choir and orchestra worship personnel responses to calendar queries as to which Sundays they will be gone, responses to that week’s worship team e-mail, information about your Pastor’s sermon series and special ministry emphases, online music resources, your available tech team members list, and information about any special additions to the service such as baptisms or a baby dedication.

7  You can rattle off a list of every piece of equipment in your sound and tech booth and who runs each one.  You also know the quirks of each of your worship related computer programs.

6  You are called as a Pastor to those who lead in worship and often know the true testimony behind every message in song that is shared.  In this area of your ministry, you are often amazed by the strength and faith of God’s people, undergirded by the everlasting arms of the Faithful One, our Refuge, Helper, Redeemer and Lord..

5  Hallway encounters or greetings called out across the parking lot don’t always include a “hello”.  Sometimes they are statements or questions like these:  “Why can’t we sing “Oceans” every week?” or “More southern gospel!”  or “Why don’t you let _____ sing a solo more often?”

4  You can spend hours and hours seeking music that is congregationally friendly and will lift up the Lord while engaging the hearts of your people.  You can spend weeks preparing for a specific service through prayer, planning, calendar coordination, recording demos for your team, and rehearsing.  You can spend months working with your groups to move them a step closer to a point of excellence in leading worship that you feel is their calling (such as challenging them to sing from memory with only a confidence monitor and no music in hand).  You can spend years leading your congregation to understand worship and to go deeper in their relationship with and their worship of the Lord.  And yet, on any given Sunday, the “delivery” of the worship message through God’s people and the authentic connection with the Lord during worship are dependent primarily on the commitment level, worship mindset, preparation , and passion of the volunteers who make up your worship team, leading a congregation who may or may not be wholly focused on worship during that time.

3  Thou shalt not age (or appear to age), but thou must be wise beyond thy years in order to balance a multitude of preferences with real ministry to the body of Christ, having the goal of providing the opportunity for true worship that ministers to all and gives them an opportunity to give unto the Lord the praise, honor, thanksgiving, and glory due His name.

2  With all of the hours that you spend every week living and breathing worship, planning worship, reading articles and blog posts about worship (gotcha!), planning or leading rehearsals to prepare for worship, reading and studying worship scriptures and books about worship, praying about worship, personally spending time in private worship, and preparing detailed order of worship information for your worship team, tech team, and ministry staff… sometimes it’s hard to let go of all of the ministry mentor concerns about what everyone else is doing in their worship leading or tech responsibilities … and just worship.

1 Worship is a passionate pursuit of God's gloryYou can’t imagine doing anything else and are so thankful for the privilege of being entrusted with the task of leading God’s people in worship and working with all of the wonderful worship ministry team members, who have their own gifting and calling to serve.  It is a joy for you to encounter both the human and the divine in the process of preparation for worship.  During rehearsal, you embrace the human element of needing to practice in order to eliminate error and to interpret the music well, both musically and spiritually.  You also embrace the divine as you pray with your people, love them, work together as unto the Lord, and lead them in sharing messages of profound, eternal truth, knowing that the goal is effectiveness and whole-hearted devotion in communication with the Lord and with His people rather than perfection.  Even on tough days, you know that you have found God’s purpose for your life and are amazed by the blessing of walking with Him through it all.

So, keep on giving it your all, Worship Pastors and Ministers of Music and Worship.  

Your calling is all about worship, and worship is all about giving.

23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.  24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. ~ Colossians 3:23 – 24

(To inspire you as you worship, work, love others, serve, and continue to lead God’s people, we have added the “giving verses” of worship to the end of this post.  They can also be found as a portion of the text from our blog post entitled, “Worship… It’s all about Giving!”)

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The “Giving Verses” of Worship

When the very living of our lives has become an act of worship, recognizing God’s supremacy and worth in every decision and thought, worship is no longer an action but rather a lifestyle.  It’s a 24 / 7 / 365 … every moment of every day … goal of intentionally expressing God’s glory in all that we do, think, and say.**   In seeking to live out this lifestyle and this heart commitment to the One who has given us His all, we give the only gift that we can give to our Creator and Savior:  the gift of a transformed life that brings Him glory and joy!

1.  Giving God THANKSGIVING and PRAISE!

* Psalm 100:4   “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”

* Psalm 9:1 & 2   “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.”

2.  Giving God GLORY!

* Psalm 86:12   “With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever.”

* Psalm 96:6 – 9   “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”

3.  Giving God AWE and REVERENCE, acknowledging Him as the Lord and Creator of all.

(In some verses and some translations, “the fear of the Lord”)

* Psalm 111:10   “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”

* Psalm 86:9 – 12   “All the nations You have made shall come and bow down before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.  For You are great, and You do wondrous things; You alone are God.  Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.  I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart; and I will glorify Your name forever.”

4.  Giving God BLESSING.

* Psalm 103:22   “Bless the LORD, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul!”

* Psalm 28:6 & 7   “Blessed be the Lord!  for He has heard the voice of my supplications.  The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts; so I am helped and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.”

5.  Giving Him EXALTATION!*

From the www.thefreedictionary.com, here are the applicable definitions:

1. to raise or elevate in rank, position, dignity, etc.
2. to praise highly; glorify; extol
* Psalm 34:3   “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!”

*NOTE:  The word ‘exaltation’ sometimes gets confused with ‘exultation’, for which the definition is “to rejoice greatly, be jubilant or triumphant (or, as in triumph.  We rejoice greatly or exult in His triumph.)  — same source

6.  Giving Him SERVICE
(giving of our hearts, our time, our gifts, and our lives in serving Him)

* Joshua 24:15   “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Lift up His name!

7.  Giving Him WORSHIP!

True worship rises up from the people of God, who are choosing to intentionally express His infinite worth! **

**(see note at end of post)

You have probably noticed by now that there is some overlap in the various types of giving to the Lord.  For example, in singing praise to God, we can bless His name.  In the worship category of giving, there is overlap with all other types of giving.  All of these ways of giving to the Lord are worship (lifestyle worship) when we are giving with the purpose of bringing glory to God and expressing His infinite worth through giving our best to God in every area of our lives.

* Psalm 29:2   “Honor the LORD for the glory of His name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.”

* John 4:24   “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

8.  We are to SING UNTO HIM!

* Psalm 5:11   “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.”

* Psalm 30:4   “Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.”

* Psalm 59:16 & 17   “I will sing of Thy power; yes, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy in the morning; for Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.  Unto Thee, O my Strength, will I sing; for God is my defense, and the God of my mercy.”  

9.  Giving Him TITHES and OFFERINGS!

* Malachi 3:10   “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”

* Exodus 35:29   “The children of Israel brought a voluntary offering to Jehovah, every man and woman whose heart prompted them to bring for all manner of work, which Jehovah, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done.”

10.  Giving Him HONOR!

* Revelation 4:11   “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

* Psalm 96:6 – 9   “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”

* Proverbs 3:9   “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income.”

11.  Giving Him LOVE!

The words of Jesus Himself in Mark 12:30   “AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.”

* Psalm 31:23   “Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.”

* Joshua 22:5   “But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the LORD your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”

* Psalm 116:1   “I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.”

Give Him your heart

12.  Giving Him OUR WHOLE HEART AND LIFE!

* Psalm 86:9 – 12    “All the nations You have made shall come and bow down before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.  For You are great, and You do wondrous things; You alone are God.  Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.  I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart; and I will glorify Your name forever.”

* Colossians 1:10   “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

* Psalm 56:13   “For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.”

* Mark 8:35   “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.”

* Romans 12:1 – 2  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

For us, giving these to God (honor, blessing, exaltation, thanksgiving, praise, glory, awe and reverence, love, honor, service, tithes and offerings, songs, and all that we are in life and in our hearts) is our gift of worship and devotion to Him.
Giving is about worship, and worship is all about giving.

“Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

GOD HAS GIVEN HIS ALL… and continues to give in every moment of time.

May we follow His example.

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**Here is a link to John Piper’s devotion where this definition of worship, paraphrased here, can be found:  http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/bodies-breakfast-and-the-marriage-bed

The wording of the original definition (directly quoted) in the first paragraph of this devotion is as follows:

“Worship” is the term we use to cover all the acts of the heart and mind and body that intentionally express the infinite worth of God. This is what we were created for, as God says in Isaiah 43:7, “Everyone who is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory…” That means that we were all created for the purpose of expressing the infinite worth of God’s glory. We were created to worship.”

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This post was written by C. Boyd.

For other posts on worship, view our category called “Worship with Wonder” at https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/worship-with-wonder/

We also have a page entitled “Lifestyle Worship”  at this link:  http://wwwworshipsounds.wordpress.com/lifestyle-worship

The titles of additional pages related to worship ministry (on topics such as creative worship ideas, worship planning and preparation, and avoiding burnout in ministry) can be found in the header on our home page at the bottom of the scenic photo.

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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Every day, I will praise You

Ps. 145 I will praiseEvery day I will praise You, Lord.

David, the Psalmist, makes this commitment in Psalm 145… daily praise, and even forever praise.  (verse 2)

Even though David was well aware that some days are tougher than steel and colder than ice.  Even though he knew that pain is real and piercing and that loss is inevitable and wrenching, and that there are moments when it’s all you can do just to breathe, David chose to say, “Yes!” to praise.

WHY?
Why choose to praise when there are days that we want to shout, with every fiber of our being, “No!  Oh, please, no… Lord, no.” ???

Read on, and look for David’s reasons (and for your reasons, too) in Psalm 145.  Then, let us think about this together.

Psalm 145

A psalm of praise. Of David.

1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.

Ps. 145 Great is the Lord3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Ps. 145 the Lord is gracious8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.[c]
Ps. 145 14 Lord upholds and lifts up14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.

So, what are the reasons that David gives for his daily praise?

1.  The Lord is great.
He is great… far beyond our understanding.   (So, when we don’t understand… He is still great.)

“His greatness no one can fathom.” (3b)

Praise the Lord script2.  The Lord is worthy of praise.
A fact is a fact… no matter how we are feeling.  He is worthy.  Period.

“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise” (3a)

3.  The Lord has done incredible, mighty, awesome, wonderful things.
His creation and His recreation of our hearts and lives give us a glimpse, but we cannot begin to fathom all that the Lord has done.

4 One generation commends Your works to another;
they tell of Your mighty acts.

…and I will meditate on Your wonderful works.[ 5 b ]

6 They tell of the power of Your awesome works
and I will proclaim Your great deeds.

4.  The Lord is majestic in His splendor.
We cannot even imagine the majesty of the Lord.

Take all of the most beautiful, awesome, and wondrous things and places you have ever seen…
take the vastness of space…
take the intricate and amazing work in a creature as tiny as an ant…
take the most majestic, sparkling, costly royal splendor that mankind has ever been able to produce (with the minds that He created)…

All of that, together, is a part of His creative and majestic creation (which is also a revelation of who He is).

But all of it together,
from the microscopic to the humongous beyond belief,
and from the wonder of all living things to the beauty of every kind of ecosystem…

reveals only a fraction of His majesty.

5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty
and I will meditate on Your wonderful works.

5.  The Lord is powerful.
If His works are powerful, how much moreso is He!  He made them.  They are just His creation, but He is the source of their power.

6 They tell of the power of Your awesome works—

6.  The Lord is abundantly good.
Everything good comes from His hand.  He made everything and pronouced it “good” because His original Creation, before mankind brought sin, reflected the goodness of its Creator.  He is good in every way that it is possible to be good.  His goodness is cause for celebration!  His is not a false goodness.  It is not pretense.  It is righteous goodness.  He does not show preference.  He is good to ALL.

7 They celebrate Your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

9 The Lord is good to all;
 He has compassion on all He has made.

7.  The Lord is righteous.
     He is not merely good… He is holy and righteous.  He will ultimately make everything right.  His goodness goes beyond what we know as goodness, because it is righteous.  It is totally pure… in love… in motivation.  There is no darkness in Him at all.  His righteousness produces joy. 

7b and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
and faithful in all he does.

Ps 145  character of God v 8 and 9

8.  The character of the Lord is tender toward us.

    a.  He is gracious
Full of grace, flowing continually out of His abundantly gracious character (who He is), God gives His grace without expecting us to earn or deserve it.  He gives His grace because He is gracious.

     b.  He is compassionate.
His compassion goes far beyond just caring about us.  His compassion motivated Him to give Himself completely in the person of Christ.  Compassion is caring that is deep enough to motivate a profound expression of love.

     c.  He is slow to anger.
The Lord is patient with us… much moreso than we are with one another, and even with our own loved ones.  Although He is deeply grieved by our every hurt and loss (compassionate), He remains patient with mankind, desiring to give us continued opportunity to turn to Him for salvation.

    d.  He is rich in love.
The love of the Lord is vast and immeasureable.  If the earth is His footstool and everything belongs to Him as Creator, He is certainly rich… but it is the limitless stores of his wealth of love that He longs for us to know.

How far would His love go?
From Heaven… to earth… to the cross… to death… and even to hell,
all to gain the victory for us over sin, hell, and death.

His love took our most hideous weakness and ugliness and enveloped it in the strength and everlasting power of His pure holiness, removing the stinking graveclothes of our sin and clothing us with His own righteousness.

8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

9 The Lord is good to all;
 He has compassion on all He has made.

9.  His Kingdom is glorious and everlasting.
In order to have a Kingdom, one must be a King.  But His is not just any Kingdom, and He is not just any King.  He is the King of Kings, and His Kingdom is everlasting.  He can never be de-throned because He is the Lord of all, even of those who do not acknowledge Him.

10 All your works praise You, Lord;
  Your faithful people extol You.
11 They tell of the glory of Your kingdom
and speak of Your might,
12 so that all people may know of Your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and Your dominion endures through all generations.

10.  The Lord is trustworthy and faithful.
        He is good, so we can trust Him.  He is a keeper of promises.  He does not give up or quit.  He is faithful to keep His word, to remain unchanging, to finish all of the good works that He has begun, and to someday make everything right.

The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises
and faithful in all He does.[ 13 c ] 

17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
and faithful in all He does.

11. The Lord is our Sustainer and the Giver of all good things.
Without the sustaining presence of the Lord in all of Creation, the needs of every living thing would not be met.

15 The eyes of all look to You,
and You give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

12.  The Lord is our helper and our Savior.
He helps us get up when we fall and even holds us as we are falling.  He lifts up those who are bowed beneath a heavy load and brings joy to hearts that have been humbled or broken.  He is near.  He is with us.  He hears us when we call on Him in truth.  He fulfills our desires.  He hears our cries.  He saves us.  He watches over us.  He will someday remove us from the very presence of evil.  He is our loving and caring Shepherd.

14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.

18 The Lord is near to all who call on Him,
to all who call on Him in truth.

19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him;
  He hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love Him,
but all the wicked He will destroy.

  Ps. 145 19 He will hear and saveThe Lord is close by, waiting for us to understand that we need Him and come into agreement with the truth about who He is and who we are. Then, when we see our need for Him and cry out, He knows that knowing Him, having His forgiveness, and living in fellowship with Him have become Him the desires of our heart. He hears our cry, and He saves us (when we have asked Him to come into our lives as Savior and Lord).

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David’s conclustion, in light of who God is,
is that he must commit himself to daily and eternal praise.

David begins the Psalm with this commitment and ends the Psalm with a restatement of his personal commitment to daily and eternal praise.

This is the final verse of Psalm 145:

21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.

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The notes on Bible Gateway about Psalm 145 tell us this interesting bit of information.  This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which (including verse 13b) begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.” 

This fact tells me that David was also communicating the fact that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, worthy of praise from the beginning of time and throughout eternity, meeting all of our needs and sharing His love with all of mankind, keeping His promises and fulfilling His Kingdom with both awesome power and gracious, loving tenderness.


May every day become a day of praise.

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This post was written by Cynthia Boyd, with the inspiration of Psalm 145.
The NIV Scripture text was copied from Bible Gateway

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+145

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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“What is Worship?” Reader’s Theater Script

Worship is God's invitation to transformation.

Worship is God’s invitation to transformation.

This Reader’s Theater script about worship can be utilized during a worship service for the purpose of sharing these truths about what worship is and is not with God’s people, helping them to more fully understand the depth of meaning, relationship, and surrender found in true worship.  The Readers can be students or adults.  They need to be well-prepared through rehearsal so that the sharing of these truths can be meaningful and thought-provoking.

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What is Worship?

A Reader’s Theater Script
designed for 3 readers

written by
Travis L. Boyd

Worship Pastor–We hear a lot about worship these days, but what is worship?

Speaker #1 – Worship is believing that God is.

Speaker #2—Worship is recognizing God’s greatness.

Speaker #3—Worship is seeking to know God on a deeper level.

Speaker #1 – Worship is surrendering to the will of God completely.

Speaker #2—Worship is living for God’s glory, not my own.

Speaker #3—Worship is experiencing God’s presence personally.

Speaker #1—Worship is not a great old hymn.

Speaker #2—Worship is not a wonderful new song.

Speaker #3—Worship is not a sermon.

Speaker #1—Worship is our response to God.

Speaker #2—We may worship with a great old hymn.

Speaker #3—We may worship with a wonderful new song.

Speaker #1—We may worship as God’s word is preached.

Speaker #2—The important thing is that we do worship.

Speaker #3—We must focus this hour on God and not ourselves.

Speaker #1—Not on what we want to sing.

Speaker #2—Not on what we want to hear.

Speaker #3—Not on what we want to feel.

All Speakers— Worship is our response to God.

 

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NOTE:  For additional descriptions and definitions of worship, see our post, Worship: Definitions and Quotations .

Additional posts on the subject of worship:

Worship…it’s all about Giving!

Worship Planning and Preparation

Or, to see all of our posts on the subject of worship, visit our “Worship… with Wonder” category:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/worship-with-wonder/

 

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Worship Ministry Team Top 12 Tasks

An Essential “To Do” List

For All Worship Team Members

 

What is needed for effective ministry from each member of the Worship Ministry Team?

Whether you serve in a Worship Band or Rhythm Section, Praise Team, Choir, Orchestra, or as an Accompanist, the essentials are the same:

Those who seek the LordIn order to glorify the Lord, lead God’s people in worship, and allow the Lord to use your gifts to speak to the hearts of others through His Spirit, you need to apply prayer, passion, preparation, flexibility, clarity, commitment, faithfulness, and authenticity!

Here are 12 ways to become most effective

as a member of a worship ministry team.

1. Pray for your Worship Pastor and for all of your ministerial staff. Pray for their families. Pray for the congregation at your church (church family) to worship the Lord and serve Him with all of their hearts. Pray for your own testimony and spiritual walk. Pray for other worship ministry team members and for the worship ministry as a whole. Pray through the order of worship, and pray during the worship service.  Be real (authentic) with the other members of your worship ministry team.  If you are struggling in some area, ask for prayer.

God is Faithful sunrise photo2. Be faithful in attendance at rehearsals and in every congregational worship service. Unless your are too sick to go or out of town, be there. We all understand that seasons of life occur, such as when you are caring for a loved one who is ill. However, if there’s nothing keeping you from being there, please be faithful!

Your passion for the Lord and for serving Him through worship ministry is the thing that makes you a worship team member. Others sit in the congregation every week who could be an asset in worship ministry, and yet the lack of passion for serving in this way prevents them from making that commitment to the calling. If your passion has begun to wane, ask the Lord to revive it within you so that you may contribute week by week, worshipping with passion in spirit and in truth.

KEY TRUTH ABOUT  FAITHFULNESS:

Your presence,

more than anything other than your prayers,

allows your worship ministry to effectively reach up to glorify the Lord

and reach out to encourage and inspire others.

Especially for Chor and Orchestra members:
Be aware that many churches are eliminating choirs and orchestras.  If you want your church to still have these groups as a regular part of worship ministry leadership a year from now, 5 years from now… 10 years from now, make it your priority to be there!

If you say that you love singing in the choir or playing in the orchestra, love having these groups as a contributing part of worship ministry, and love the sound and the impact they can make, you need to be one who will be there faithfully. When the choir and/or orchestra suffers from low attendance week after week, the level of excellence suffers. The director has difficulty choosing what to sing or play, not knowing who may be there. The overall sound is less than it could be without you and others there. After weeks and weeks of low attendance and less than stellar sound due to the low numbers, how much support can we expect from church members and leaders for the continuation of choir and orchestra ? In other words, if you want to have a choir and orchestra , you MUST be committed to it.

give God the glory3. Be spiritually prepared. Do all that you can do to walk closely with the Lord. Abide in Him. Spend time in private worship. Learn all that you can about Him and about what true worship really is. Listen to worship music often. Love the Lord and find joy in His presence.

4. Be musically prepared. Attend every rehearsal that it is possible for you to attend, and be on time if at all possible.  It is great to have everyone in place with music ready and instruments and voices warmed up if possible (sing with the radio on the way there!).  If that is not possible due to your work schedule or some other factor, please do the very best you can to arrive ASAP.   

* Even if the choir or orchestra is going to be sharing music that you know well, your presence and participation can help others to learn the music. Having the full group present helps with things like balance, interpretation, and choral tone, as well as with division of parts, marking any changes in the music, and unifying vowel structure.

* If your director sends out an e-mail with links to the music you will be singing, spend 15 minutes listening to the demos a couple of times during the week.

Sing praises with understanding*  With new technology have come new tools for worship ministry. We can listen to demos on our computer and do so almost anywhere with wireless technology. We can look up sample pages to a choral anthem and even be able to see the music as we listen to a demo. We can hear several different versions of the same worship song at ccli.com or other sites. Many worship teams have their own website, facebook page, or blog to keep everyone informed. Sometimes e-mails are sent to worship team members with listening links. There are worship conferences, worship blogs, and “how to play” videos online. All of this means that we have more resources available than ever (and fewer excuses for being unprepared).

* For choir members:  If you know there’s a part that you’re not getting during rehearsal, speak up and ask the director for help. Often, as your section (Altos, Sopranos, Basses, or Tenors) sings through a passage a couple of times, the re-inforcement of hearing your part played will help everyone.

If you have a piano and can play a tricky part yourself, take your music home to spend some time working on those hard to hear parts.

* For orchestra, praise band, or praise team members:  If there is anything that you struggle with in rehearsal and are not confident about, spend some time working on your own before Sunday.

Speak up if something sounds “off” in rehearsal, even though it appears everyone is playing (or singing) what is written.  Sometimes you may help to find a mistake in the music.

*  For All Worship Ministry Team Members:Love is patient  with heart  cropped

Remember that what we are doing is very important and sometimes very difficult.  Patience is required in order to work up an entire “worship set” of music for congregational worship each week, often with very limited rehearsal time.   We must all be as diligent as possible and patient with each other and with ourselves.  We are confronted with our own humanity when preparing music; and there is no better time to thank God for His patience and grace with us, even as we choose to employ patience and grace with others (and with situations that are out of our control).  You may be doing all that you can do and wish that others took their opportunity to serve as seriously.  However, we always need to remember that we never know what others are facing and the challenges that may keep them from being as faithful or as prepared as they would like to be.  We just need to pray for one another and employ a lot of grace, continue to be faithful, and encourage others as much as possible.

5. Remember that every Sunday’s worship is important. The special programs can be a wonderful time of worship, but every Sunday   needs to be just as important.

The Lord is the same year-round,

and

He deserves our best every week!

Give Him your best (in terms of commitment, passion, faithfulness, and effort). Make it a priority to be there, be prepared, pray through the service as you worship, and do your best to bring glory to the Lord in every service of congregational worship that you are able to attend. Pay attention when your director goes through the order of worship for next Sunday’s service during rehearsal. You can help with leading in worship most effectively when you are able to share with clarity because you know what is going on.

Never forget that God is the one who created music,

gave you musical gifts, saved you,

and gave you some incredible and eternally glorious

reasons to make musical praise!

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.” ~ Psalm 9:1 & 2

Never take the opportunity

to use your voice or instrument

(and your faithfulness and availability) 

to glorify the Lord within the congregation

for granted!

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.” ~ Psalm 107:31 & 32

Love the Lord calligraphy6. Support the worship ministry through your own giving. You can give financially as well as giving of your time for rehearsals, personal prayer time, and worship times. You can give and redeem your time in worship ministry when help is needed in preparation for a special program, ministry opportunity, or mission trip. You can give time to working with worship ministry groups for children and youth, investing in the lives of these future worshippers and worship leaders.

7. Be well groomed. Here, I am not talking about the cost or name brands of your clothing. Just make sure that your appearance is well-groomed and not distracting. (Well-fitting clothing and well-groomed hair are a must.)  Your own worship ministry may have additional requirements for appearance that are more specific.

8. Invite others to come to know the Lord, to come to church, and to attend services and special programs. Encourage the faithfulness of others through your own faithfulness (which is a silent witness) and through verbal encouragement, letting them know that you are glad to see them and that their presence is important.

9. Invite others to participate in approriate areas of worship ministry when you know that they have the special gifts to contribute both spiritually and musically. Take some time to talk with them about the blessings of serving in worship ministry and how much it means to you. When new members come, welcome them! Don’t be stuck in a rut as far as who you have to sit beside. Make sure the new member feels comfortable.

10. Don’t fossilize! Be flexible and open to change when it is needed.

* If a change in schedule (such as letting the choir leave the loft to sit with families after the musical worship portion or your service is over) allows more people to participate, be open to that change.  This would include changes in rehearsal schedule.  If you have an unavoidable conflict, let your Worship Leader, Director, or Music and Worship Minister / Pastor know as soon as possible.  When you know that you will be out of town, please let them know your schedule.  Advance notice of absences allows for better planning.

sing a new song to the Lord* When new music is introduced, be open to it. You will likely grow to love it! Even if a song is not your favorite, worship the Lord as you sing and/or play it!  Be open to new styles and new musical techniques as well.  It’s always a good thing to keep learning and growing as a musician and as a member of the worship leadership team.

* Be open to wearing robes or not wearing robes (depending upon what works best for all of the considerations at your church).  You may be asked to wear a certain color.  Please help your group to follow worship ministry leadership in this area by cooperating fully.

* Be willing to sit or stand anywhere that you are asked to be, in both the worship center and in the rehearsal room (unless you need to be seated for physical reasons).

* Be willing to let go of traditions and procedural routines that may no longer be effective.

11. Communicate visually as well as musically. Remember that only part of your worship team’s presentation of any song or participation in worship is the sound component of ministry. The other component that can be observed is visual.

Praise   Lets just praise the Lord* In order for the messages that you are proclaiming to be as effective as possible, choir members, praise team members, and others who sing need to communicate through their facial expression and posture as well. Even those who play instruments need to support the message of what is being shared through appropriate facial expression and/or posture.  People want to know that you are authentic in your beliefs and that you are passionate about your beliefs and your relationship with the Lord… passionate about Him! Your face should reflect the message that you are singing or playing (especially for non-wind players). Your posture should not look stiff and formal.

* If your Director or Worship Pastor wants you to memorize a song in order to communicate it most effectively, do it! (Hint: being there at every rehearsal and listening to demos or working on your own a little bit helps!)

* If you are holding a music folder or looking at music on a stand, hold it high enough (or adjust your stand) so that you can see your director just over the top of the music. Get your head and your eyes up as much as possible. No one wants to look at the tops of everyone’s heads or at a platform full of worship ministry personnel whose eyes appear to be closed because they are looking down all of the time.

NOTE: Our choir sings from memory as often as possible so that we can communicate visually and musically with more effectiveness, and we have recently begun utilizing an on-stage monitor with lyrics. Although we have used screens at the back of the worship center for the lyrics to congregational music and anthems for many years, we can include information on the on-stage monitor that it not meant for the entire congregation to see. We utilize a different color of print for cues to the choir that precede a section of lyrics. These on-screen cues are often very brief and include: “Men” when only the tenor and bass are singing (could also use “TB”); “Women”; “Unison”; “4-part”, “2-part”, “2X”, “3X” or “4x” to show the number of repeats; and even cues for dynamics. Notes that are held for a long time can be indicated by using a line after the word (Example: “love___”)

Lift up His name!

Lift up His name!

12. Participate and worship in the entirety of the congregational worship experience. Remember that you are not there just to “perform” a “special” piece of music. You are there to worship! You are a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and and worshipper of Almighty God! Every song, scripture reading, testimony, and message is important! Seek to bring glory to God in all of it. Come to worship ready to give to the Lord the praise and thanksgiving of your heart, the honor and glory He deserves, the obedience and open-ness that are a sweet offering to Him, and the entirety of who you are. Seek His face and reflect His joy.

 

“Whatever you are doing, let your hearts be in your work, as a thing done for the Lord and not for men.”
~ Colossians 3:23 (Weymouth New Testament)

 

SUGGESTED  READING   FOR  WORSHIP  MINISTRY  TEAM  MEMBERS

1.  Our Worship Scripture page is a very comprehensive worship resource, with scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments in Biblical order.  Our bold key words before the beginning of each scripture make it easy to search and find particular passages.  This is an excellent resource for worship scriptures.  Also, try the key word or topical search features at Bible Hub or Bible Gateway.

Here’s the link to “Lift Your Voice”, our worship scripture page:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lift-your-voice/

1. “The missing piece…What Every Christian Should Know About Worship”
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/the-missing-piece-what-every-christian-should-know-about-worship/

2. “31 Days of Praise (Scripture Devotions)
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/31-days-of-praise/
This post has been recommended on Worship Links @ http://www.worshiplinks.us/2013/09/devotions-praise/

3. “Walking in Worship”
Note:
This article has also been published in the online magazine, “ChurchMag” with its original title
@ http://churchm.ag/walking-in-worship/
and on churchleaders.com , using the title, “What Worship REALLY Means” @

http://www.churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/163955-cynthia-boyd-worship-really-means.html

* found on this blog @ https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/walking-in-worship/

OUR OTHER POSTS ABOUT WORSHIP: (Our pages, like the one on Lifestyle Worship, have titles that are always visible on the blog header. Our posts are categorized, and all of the posts on worship can be found in our category called “Worship…with Wonder!” (and the sub-categories in that topic). Here are links to 7 of our most widely read posts about worship.

Music is a gift…Worship the Giver!
This article was also published by TheWorshipCommunity.com @ http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/music-is-a-gift-worship-the-giver/

Worship Planning and Preparation

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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How to Help Keep Church Choirs from Becoming Extinct

An Effective Ministry

FBC Snellville Choir

FBC, Snellville Church Choir, Christmas 2009

Church Choirs can minister very effectively in any worship setting if they are properly prepared to contribute to the ministry of worship.  Although there are some people who consider a church choir to be an out of date relic, a group of Christian singers with a desire to bring glory to the Lord through the ministry of worship can be a blessing to the entire church family.  Here are seven ways that choirs can joyfully serve as worship leaders to strengthen and bring life to the ministry of worship.

* 1 * 
A Choir can help to support congregational singing
, allowing the congregation to sing more confidently and join their voices with those who are already singing, helping to lead God’s people in worship.

* 2 *
A Choir will help the congregation to know when they are supposed to sing.

When arrangements for the congregational singing are lead by a praise band, worship leader, and praise teams, sometimes people in the congregation become uncertain about when they are supposed to sing along.  A well prepared choir helps to prevent confusion as they assist in leading the service.  Since the choir will know when a verse or chorus is supposed to be sung as a solo and when everyone is supposed to sing, the congregation will begin to take their cue from the choir.

* 3 *
Choirs provide spiritual encouragement and inspiration to the church family.

When the life stories and faith journeys of the people who make up the choir are coupled with their faithful commitment to praising the Lord and leading in worship, the choir serves as a collective testimony of walking by faith.  The presence and praise of a choir member who is walking through a trial, remaining faithful as a choral worship leader, can be a powerful message in itself.  Since choir members are often some of the busiest church members, serving in many ways and being vitally involved in church life, their ministry and testimony has personal significance for a large percentage of the church body.

 “O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works. Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”  ~ Psalm 105:1 – 3

The 280 voice Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Brooklyn, NY, under the direction of Carol Cymbala, recorded 2 CDs in 2013,

The 280 voice Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Brooklyn, NY, under the direction of Carol Cymbala, recorded 2 CDs in 2013, “Redeemed” and “Love Lead the Way”.

* 4 *
Church choirs can share messages of praise, reverent worship, testimony, exhortation, encouragement, comfort, thankfulness, and perseverance 
through the songs (both anthems and congregational worship songs) that they sing.  Since choral anthems often have lyrics that are full of scripture and of Biblical truth, the choir can share a message in song that is full of meaning with even more impact than the spoken word because of the marriage of music and lyrics that amplifies the truths being shared.  The choir’s ministry is one of proclamation, praise, and encouragement as they and the congregation “speak to one another in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs”.

  “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord.”  ~ Psalm 104:33 & 34

* 5 *
As worship leaders, the choir can also help the church to learn new songs and worship choruses. 
 It is possible to find choral arrangements of new worship songs that are in congregationally friendly keys, which also have chord and rhythm charts and even full orchestrations available.  These can be prepared as an anthem and introduced by the full worship team (choir, praise band and / or orchestra, praise team).  Later, as the congregation becomes more familiar with the song, they can be invited to join in singing the worship song with the same arrangement.

* 6 *
A choir can help to break down generational barriers in worship.
The fact that choirs (and praise teams, rhythm sections, and orchestras) are often made up of young, median, and older adults (and sometimes students) communicates the message that the new song is a vehicle of praise and worship for the entire congregation, regardless of age.  As members of the worship leadership team, choir members have invested time in preparation for worship, both musically and spiritually as they have learned the new music.  Because they have rehearsed and lived with the lyrics of the songs being shared (both Anthems and congregational praise), choir members have the opportunity to internalize these messages of truth and to communicate them meaningfully, as a group that is visually representative of the church body (in age range and other factors) rather than just as professional musicians.

KEY GOAL:  Ideally, the worshipping choir will be both spiritually and musically prepared to praise the Lord and to encourage and inspire God’s people.  Because of this investment of time in preparation and their heart for the Lord, a choir can be a living, vibrant team of worship leaders,  messengers of hope and praise. 

The Mount Pleasant Christian Church Choir in Indianapolis, IN, directed by Brian Tabor, September, 2013.

The Mount Pleasant Christian Church Choir in Indianapolis, IN, directed by Brian Tabor, September, 2013.

* 7 *
There is nothing else like the sound of a well-prepared choir
,
and the secular music industry often employs a choir to maximize the impact of a powerful ballad or to visibly and audibly celebrate with an upbeat song.  Choirs are often seen in the music videos and television appearances of pop stars, on music specials, and at events where the entertainment is an extravagant production, such as an Olympic opening ceremony or even a Super Bowl halftime show.  If secular entertainment still values the impact that a choir can make, those of us who love and worship the Lord should realize that choral singing can be a an effective testimony of God’s goodness that can touch the hearts of a congregation (and of others who hear them when they sing in public places).

 “O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”  ~ Psalm 95:1 – 7a

* 8 *  There is Biblical support for choral worship ministry.

A.  Since there are many Biblical accounts of choirs, and since 55 Psalms are written to the Choir Director or Director of Music; there is certainly a Biblical precedent for choral worship.

The First Baptist Concord Choir, Knoxville, TN, directed by Jeff Lawrence.

The First Baptist Concord Choir, Knoxville, TN, directed by Jeff Lawrence.

B.  In addition, the Biblical exhortation to use our gifts to honor and bring glory to the Lord calls for opportunities for those who are a part of our congregations and who have musical gifts to serve and contribute to the ministry of worship.
What these service opportunities may be in an individual congregation depends upon the musical gifts that are present among members who are willing to faithfully serve in worship ministry.  A smaller congregation might have a choral ensemble rather than a full choir, in addition to their praise band or accompanists.  Larger churches may have a full choir and perhaps an instrumental ensemble or orchestra in addition to their rhythm section, praise band, and / or accompanists.  Some churches may use a choir to help serve as worship leaders, but the choir may sing a choral anthem only occasionally.  Some churches also use choirs only seasonally (for a special Christmas program, for example).

Every congregation is different, and no one can prescribe what your church should be doing in musical worship from the outside.  Your ministerial leadership is more in tune with the musical and spiritual gifts of your congregation and to the music that speaks to the hearts of your congregation as well as to the visitors and seekers that your church can reach.  This article is not being written in order to bash churches that don’t have a choir but rather to encourage the ministry of choral singing in those places where it can be shared effectively to praise, encourage, inspire, lift up, exhort, challenge, and worship.

“Above, the hosts of angels sing praise; below, men form choirs in the churches and imitate them by singing the same doxology.  Above, the seraphim cry out in the thrice-holy hymn; below, the human throng sends up the same cry.  The inhabitants of heaven and earth are brought together in a common assembly; there is one thanksgiving, one shout of delight, one joyful chorus.”  ~  St. John Chrysostom

First Baptist Church of Duluth Adult Choir, Duluth, GA, directed by Travis L. Boyd

First Baptist Church of Duluth Adult Choir, December, 2013, Duluth, GA, directed by Travis L. Boyd, singing the upbeat final song in the Travis Cottrell Christmas worship musical, “Joy of Every Longing Heart”.  Note:  Many of the choir, orchestra, and praise band members are out of the frame in this photo, taken by a member of the congregation.)

KEY:  Church choirs can stil minister and serve and bring glory to the Lord when they have the commitment, support, and prayers necessary to do so.

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 
~
I Corinthians 10:31  NASB

Although choirs have been eliminated in some congregations, existing choirs can strengthen their ministryNew choirs can focus on effective ministry from the beginning.  Below, you will find some suggestions for helping to keep church choirs alive and serving in the 21st century.

 “Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!”  ~ Psalm 107:21 & 22

For Members of the Congregation

If you are a member of the congregation in a church that has a choir, here’s how you can support and encourage their ministry:

1.  Pray for your church choir.  Pray for individual members if you know them.  Pray for unity of spirit and faithfulness to the commitment of singing in choir.
* Pray for God to use them as they seek to minister and lead in worship, and pray that God will speak to their hearts as they prepare spiritually and musically.
* Pray for them as they stand to sing and for the congregation as the choir is singing.

2.  Worship and praise the Lord as you are listening and praying!  If your church’s worship ministry has a facebook page, “like” the page so that you will know better how to pray for your church’s overall worship ministry as well as for the choir.

praise and give thanks to the Lord3.  Listen expectantly when the choir shares a message, whether that is a Choral Anthem or a worship chorus that is being introduced by the choir.  Remember that everything your church does in ministry is constantly being evaluated for effectiveness.  Therefore, one of the best ways to support a choral ministry in your church is to allow the choir to minister to you and to praise the Lord in your heart right along with them.

Thank you music notes4.  Encourage!  If a message shared by the choir was particularly meaningful or worshipful to you, let that be known.  Speak an “amen!”, share a word of encouragement, or send a note or e-mail to the choir, Worship Minister, and / or Pastor expressing how the Lord has used that ministry in your own heart and life.   The people who sing in choirs are not seeking accolades.  (If that was their motivation, they probably would have given up long ago!)  Choir members would rather hear about the spiritual impact of their ministry than about the beauty of the music.  They love the beauty of the music as well, but they mainly want to know that what they are doing makes a difference for the Kingdom!

5.  Be faithful in your own attendance in congregational worship.  Not only are you being faithful to the Lord when you worship along with His people, your presence is also an encouragement to others.  In addition, your presence allows for everything that is done in worship to be done more effectively as you are praying throughout the service that the Lord would be glorified  and personally worshipping Him.

6.  Attend any special presentations that your Choir and Worship Ministry have prepared, and invite others to come as well.  At most churches, there are special musical worship opportunities such as Christmas and Easter programs and worship musicals only a few times a year (usually 2 – 4 times annually for the Adult Choir).  These events are wonderful opportunities to invite your neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers.  Invite the clerk who checks out your groceries.  Invite others at every opportunity.  Your worship ministry team members have been preparing to share messages of hope and faith and praise to the Lord for several weeks leading up to any special worship event.  Attend these events expecting a glorious time of worship, pray for those involved, and bring others with you.  Put these special events on your personal calendar as soon as they are announced, and make them a priority.  If you want your church to have worship events such as these and to continue to have a worship choir, your presence must testify that this is important and meaningful to you.

7.  Support the worship ministry at your church through your giving.  There are expenditures that are necessary for a vibrant and effective worship ministry.  Sound and lighting equipment, media equipment, sets and seasonal decorations, music for worship ministry participants, musical instruments, piano tuning, CCLI (the service that allows your church to legally put song lyrics on screens), and salaries for paid personnel such as your Worship Pastor and accompanists, are all a part of the financial cost of worship ministry support.  Your faithfulness allows all of the ministries of your church, including worship ministry, to function and to minister within the congregation and to reach out to your community and beyond.

8.  Let grace abound!  Don’t expect musical and technical perfection.  Give your worship ministry team the grace of realizing that they are human and that they are participating in this ministry as volunteers rather than as professional musicians and technicians.  Music and productions that you hear on the radio or see on TV and in the movies are very highly produced and involve much expertise, equipment, and time that is not available for local church ministry.  Many times, the sounds that you hear on radio or TV cannot be produced at the same level of perfection in live performance, even by the pros.  One recorded song may be a result of dozens of “takes” and hours of recording and re-recording.  In addition, remember that every worship song, hymn, or choral anthem may not be your personal taste; but it is still your joy to worship the Lord through all that is spoken and sung.  Pray for others.  Look around you.  What may not be your favorite worship expression may be ministering to the hearts of others.  Pray for those around you throughout the worship service.

* IMPORTANT  NOTE:  For greater understanding about the importance and meaning of worship and for help with preparation for teaching about worship, see our Addendum at the end of this blog article, where you will find links to articles on worship found on our blog and on TheWorshipCommunity.com , on the online magazine, ChurchMag , and on ChurchLeaders.com (or recommended on WorshipLinks) .

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
~
Colossians 3:17

The Adult Worship Choir anchors the worship ministries of Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, FL, directed by Dr. Doug Crawley.

The Adult Worship Choir anchors the worship ministries of Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, FL, directed by Dr. Doug Crawley.

For Pastors and Ministerial Staff

Here’s how you can help to support the ministry of the Worship Choir at your church.

1.  Pray for and encourage the worship team members and Worship Pastor at your church.  Pray for your congregation and for yourself as worshippers.

2.  Live a life of worship, seeking to intentionally give God glory in all that you do.

* NOTE For greater understanding about the importance and meaning of worship and for help with preparation for teaching about worship, see our Addendum at the end of this blog article, where you will find links to articles on worship found on our blog and on TheWorshipCommunity.com , on the online magazine, ChurchMag , and on ChurchLeaders.com (or recommended on WorshipLinks) .

3.  Whatever your responsibilities and concerns may be during a worship service, make an intentional effort to let them go (as much as is possible) and personally worship the Lord.

4.  Attend special worship ministry programs, and invite others to do so as well.  Speak with enthusiasm when sharing announcements about upcoming Worship Ministry events.

5.  When doing calendar planning, recognize that each ministry decision impacts every ministry.  Remember that above all, every Christian is (or should be) a worshipper, and do what you can to strenthen all of the ministries of your church, including worship ministry.

“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
~
 I Peter 4:11

For Choir Members & Worship Team Members

What is needed?  Prayer, passion, preparation, flexibility, clarity, commitment, faithfulness, and authenticity!

1.  Pray for your Worship Pastor and for all of your ministerial staff.  Pray for their families.  Pray for the congregation to worship the Lord and serve Him with all of their hearts.  Pray for your own testimony and spiritual walk.  Pray for other worship ministry team members and for the worship ministry as a whole.  Pray through the order of worship, and pray during the worship service.

2.  Be faithful in attendance at rehearsals and in every congregational worship service.  Unless your are too sick to go or out of town, be there.  We all understand that seasons of life occur, such as when you are caring for a loved one who is ill.  However, if there’s nothing keeping you from being there, please be faithful!  Your passion for the Lord and for serving Him through worship ministry is the thing that makes you a choir member.  Others sit in the congregation every week who could be an asset in worship ministry, and yet the lack of passion for serving in this way prevents them from making that commitment.  If your passion has begun to wane, ask the Lord to revive it within you so that you may contribute week by week, worshipping with passion in spirit and in truth.

KEY:  Your presence, more than anything other than your prayers, allows your worship ministry to effectively reach up to glorify the Lord and reach out to encourage and inspire others.

If you want your church to still have a choir a year from now, 5 years from now… 10 years from now, make it your priority to be there!
If you say that you love singing in the choir, love having a choir, and love the sound and the impact of choral music, you need to be one who will be there faithfully.  When the choir suffers from low attendance week after week, the level of excellence suffers.  The director has difficulty choosing what to sing, not knowing who may be there.  The choral sound is less than it could be without you and others there.  After weeks and weeks of low attendance and less than stellar sound due to the low numbers, how much support can we expect from church members and leaders for the continuation of choir?  In other words, if you want to have a choir, you have to be committed to it.

3.  Be spiritually prepared Do all that you can do to walk closely with the Lord.  Abide in Him.  Spend time in private worship.  Learn all that you can about Him and about what true worship really is.  Listen to worship music often.  Love the Lord and find joy in His presence.

4.  Be musically prepared.  Attend every rehearsal that it is possible for you to attend. 

*  Even if the choir is going to be singing music that you know well, your presence and participation can help others to learn the musicHaving the full choir present helps with things like balance, interpretation, and choral tone, as well as with division of parts, marking any changes in the music, and unifying vowel structure.

*  If your director sends out an e-mail with links to the music you will be singing, spend 15 minutes listening to the demos a couple of times during the week.

*  If you know there’s a part that you’re not getting during rehearsal, speak up and ask the director for help.  Often, as your section (Altos, Sopranos, Basses, or Tenors) sings through a passage a couple of times, the re-inforcement of hearing your part played will help everyone.

*  If you have a piano and can play a tricky part yourself, take your music home to spend some time working on those hard to hear parts.

5.  Remember that every Sunday’s worship is important.  The special programs can be a wonderful time of worship, but every Sunday  needs to be just as important.  The Lord is the same year-round, and He deserves our best every week (in terms of commitment, passion, faithfulness, and effort).  Make it a priority to be there, be prepared, pray through the service as you worship, and do your best to bring glory to the Lord in every service of congregational worship that you are able to attend.  Pay attention when your director goes through the order of worship for next Sunday’s service during choir rehearsal.  You can help with leading in worship most effectively when you are able to share with clarity because you know what is going on.

Never forget that God is the one who created music, gave you a voice, saved you, and gave you something incredible and eternally glorious to sing about!

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart: I will tell of all Thy wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in Thee, I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.”  ~ Psalm 9:1 & 2

Never take the opportunity to use your voice to glorify Him within the congregation for granted!

 “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.”  ~ Psalm 107:31 & 32

6.  Support the worship ministry through your own giving.  You can give financially as well as giving of your time for rehearsals, personal prayer time, and worship times.   You can give and redeem your time in worship ministry when help is needed in preparation for a special program, ministry opportunity, or mission trip.  You can give time to working with worship ministry groups for children and youth, investing in the lives of these future worshippers and worship leaders.

7. Be well groomed. Here, I am not talking about the cost or name brands of your clothing. Just make sure that your appearance is well-groomed and not distracting. (Well-fitting clothing and well-groomed hair are a must.)

8.  Invite others to come to know the Lord, to come to church, and to attend services and special programs.  Encourage the faithfulness of others through your own faithfulness (which is a silent witness) and through verbal encouragement, letting them know that you are glad to see them and that their presence is important.

9.  Invite others to sing in the choir or to participate in some other area of worship ministry when you know that they have the special gifts to contribute both spiritually and musically.  Take some time to talk with them about the blessings of serving in worship ministry and how much it means to you.  When new members come, welcome them!  Don’t be stuck in a rut as far as who you have to sit beside.  Make sure the new member feels comfortable.

10.  Don’t fossilize!  Be flexible and open to change when it is needed.

*  If a change in schedule (or letting the choir leave the loft to sit with families after the musical worship portion or your service is over) allows more people to participate, be open to that change.

*  When new music is introduced, be open to it.  You will likely grow to love it!  Even if a song is not your favorite, worship the Lord as you sing it!

*  Be open to wearing robes or not wearing robes (depending upon what works best for all of the considerations at your church).

*  Be willing to sit or stand anywhere that you are asked to be, in both the loft and in the rehearsal room (unless you need to be seated for physical reasons).

*  Be willing to let go of traditions and procedural routines that may no longer be effective.

11.  Communicate visually as well as musically.  Remember that only part of the choir’s presentation of any song or participation in worship is the sound component of choral ministry.  The other component that can be observed is visual.

*  In order for the messages that you are proclaiming to be as effective as possible, choir members need to communicate through their facial expression and posture as well.  People want to know that you are authentic in your beliefs and that you are passionate about your beliefs and your relationship with the Lord… passionate about Him!  Your face should reflect the message that you are singing.  Your posture should not look stiff and formal.

*  If your director or Worship Pastor wants you to memorize a song in order to communicate it most effectively, do it!  (Hint:  being there at every rehearsal and listening to demos or working on your own a little bit helps!)

*  If you are holding a music folder, hold it high enough that you can see your director just over the top of the music.  Get your head and your eyes up as much as possible.  No one wants to look at the tops of everyone’s heads or at a choir whose eyes appear to be closed because they are looking down all of the time.

NOTE:  Our choir sings from memory as often as possible, and we have recently begun utilizing an on-stage monitor with lyrics.  Although we have used screens at the back of the worship center for the lyrics to congregational music and anthems for many years, we can include information on the on-stage monitor that it not meant for the entire congregation to see.  We utilize a different color of print for cues to the choir that precede a section of lyrics.  These on-screen cues are often very brief and include:  “Men” when only the tenor and bass are singing (could also use “TB”); “Women”; “Unison”; “4-part”, “2-part”, “2X”, “3X” or “4x” to show the number of repeats; and even cues for dynamics.  Notes that are held for a long time can be indicated by using a line after the word (Example:  “love___”)

12.  Participate and worship in the entirety of the congregational worship experience.  Remember that you are not there just to “perform” a “special” piece of music.  You are there to worship!  You are a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and and worshipper of Almighty God!  Every song, scripture reading, testimony, and message is important!  Seek to bring glory to God in all of it.  Come to worship ready to give to the Lord the praise and thanksgiving of your heart, the honor and glory He deserves, the obedience and open-ness that are a sweet offering to Him, and the entirety of who you are.  Seek His face and reflect His joy.

* IMPORTANT  NOTE:  For greater understanding about the importance and meaning of worship and for help with preparation for teaching about worship, see our Addendum at the end of this blog article, where you will find links to articles on worship found on our blog and on TheWorshipCommunity.com , on the online magazine, ChurchMag , and on ChurchLeaders.com (or recommended on WorshipLinks) .   http://www.worshiplinks.us/2013/09/devotions-praise/

“Whatever you are doing, let your hearts be in your work, as a thing done for the Lord and not for men.” 
~  Colossians 3:23  (Weymouth New Testament)

University Presbyterian Church Choir, Seattle, WA, directed by Dr. David Gardner

University Presbyterian Church Choir, Seattle, WA, directed by Dr. David Gardner

For Choir Directors, Ministers of Music & Worship, 

and Worship Pastors

What is needed for you?  The same priorities for worship as your worship team:  Prayer, passion, preparation, flexibility, clarity, and authenticity!

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth.”  ~ Psalm 108:1 – 5

1.  Pray for your fellow ministerial staff members, the congregation, and all of your worship ministry team members. 
Pray that people will understand the importance of worship as a way of life (Romans 12:1 – 2, I Corinthians 10:31 ).  Pray for personal passion for ministry and worship.  Pray for holiness and obedience, both personally and collectively.

2.  Make personal worship a top priority.
Seek to lead as a fellow worshipper.  Let your passion for the Lord and for worshipping Him be clearly evident.  Every word, every song, and every moment should be focused on the eternal:  worshipping God, praising and thanking Him, and testifying of His goodness, grace, mercy, love, and faithfulness.

Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forever more! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory is above the heavens.”  ~ Psalm 113:1 – 4

3Function as a Pastor whose primary responsibility is worship ministry. 
People are more important than notes and rhythms.  Minister accordingly.

4.  Function as an equipper. 
Teach and equip your worship ministry team.  Teach them about worship and discipleship.  Teach them about music and techniques.  Teach them about effectiveness as worship leaders (spiritually, musically, visually).  Teach your choir that true worship is giving (giving praise, honor, glory, blessing, our hearts, and all that we are). Build excitement about the ministry potential of choral worship.

*  IMPORTANT  NOTE:   For greater understanding about the importance and meaning of worship and for help with preparation for teaching about worship, see our Addendum at the end of this blog article, where you will find links to articles on worship found on our blog and on TheWorshipCommunity.com , on the online magazine ChurchMag , and on ChurchLeaders.com (or recommended on WorshipLinks) .   http://www.worshiplinks.us/2013/09/devotions-praise/

5.  Be a good steward of your time. 
Plan and prepare effectively, praying for guidance as you do so.  You can make the most of your limited rehearsal time and allow team members to be well prepared for congregational worship when you have:
a.  Made sure that the order of worship is clearly understood by all participants in worship ministry, providing each person with a copy containing all of the information needed.
b.  Prepared a weekly newsletter, poster, or white board with the order of your rehearsal so that music will be ready and you can make the most effective use of the choir’s rehearsal time.
c.  Made sure that all music is available to your choir and that they have sharpened pencils to mark anything necessary in their music.
d.  Made sure that your accompanists have all needed music in time to play through and prepare themselves for rehearsal.
e.  Made sure that your tech team has all needed lyrics and any media or videos that you intend to use, as well as orders of worship with any special notes they may need.
f.  Made sure that your ministerial staff has copies of the order of worship (not just the bulletin, but your expanded version for worship ministry that specifies such things as the number of verses or repeats for a given songs, which staff member is doing the welcome, etc.).

6.  Encourage your choir and other worship ministry participants.
Make rehearsals as fun and joyful as possible. Try to keep the mood light and yet focused on preparation for worship as well as on worshipping even as your rehearse. Let your choir and accompanists, praise teams, praise band, and tech team know that they are loved and valued by you and by the Lord. Use the rehearsal time very wisely so that your choir members and other worship ministry personnel do not feel that their time is being wasted (this communicates value as well). Share any positive comments or notes you’ve been given about the choir with the group.

7.  Expand your Choir’s vision of their role in worship ministry.
Help them to see that they are there to do more than just produce an anthem each week. Teach them that they can serve as worship leaders for congregational worship.

8.  Keep a realistic timeline in mind.
W
hen you are preparing for rehearsals, don’t try to cram too much music into one session. Confusion and poor preparation will be the result. Do allow several weeks of rehearsal on any new music that requires some time to “settle in”. Plan an adequate number of music rehearsals and tech rehearsals when preparing for any special program. Our choir often has Sunday afternoon rehearsals in addition to our Wednesday night rehearsals to help us prepare in the weeks leading up to a Christmas, Easter, or worship musical. We usually rehearse about an hour, beginning at 5:00 p.m. That’s the time which seems to work best for our group, but your group may have a different preference depending on factors like other schedule considerations and how far away they live from your church.

9.  Provide and encourage training opportunities for your choir and all worship ministry personnel.
Make sure that your tech team has adequate knowledge, and provide periodic training for them (bring in a specialist to teach and work with them for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon). After all, your choir could share an anthem beautifully, but it’s the tech team who will make sure it can be heard. Take worship ministry team members to conferences and concerts when possible. Encourage your worship ministry team to listen to contemporary Christian radio (at least occasionally). If you want to inspire multi-generational worship and a greater open-ness to new music, do what you can to introduce new music that can unite the generations in worshipping the Lord.

10. Use media to enhance the worship experience.
If your church has screens, make sure that the lyrics of your anthems are on screens as the choir is singing. Use scenic or spiritually meaningful background photos for the text, and make sure that the text is in a color, size, and font that shows clearly all the way to the back of your worship center. After all, you have carefully chosen this music because of the message that it conveys. Whether your anthem has a message of praise or testimony, encouragement, affirmation, or exhortation, the words are important. Let’s be honest. Sometimes the most beautiful choral settings can make the text difficult to understand.Seeing the lyrics visually on screens employs the sense of sight to imprint the message your choir is sharing on the minds of your congregation more vividly. Your congregation is more likely to take away from the service something that has meaning to their walk as a Christian when every means has been utilized to enhance the worship experience, simply but effectively communicating visually as well as aurally. If you have the capability to make videos of lyrics that can employ photos as background for lyrics and perhaps snippets of video (something like a few seconds of video of a running stream when singing a message about living water), do that. However, keep in mind that it can be very difficult to stay with a video tempo-wise without a click track for the director and in-ear monitors for him or her and for key personnel such as accompanists or praise band (rhythm section) members. If your church does not have media capability, make sure that your anthem choice reflects this fact and that lyrics are as clearly understandable as possible. Use low tech but effective visual means to communicate what your choir is singing visually when possible (perhaps a banner proclaiming “Jesus is Lord” could be displayed when you are singing about the Lordship of Christ). Employ some talented people in your congregation to form a banner ministry and create visual representation of the names of God / Jesus that can be used for regular as well as special services to visually re-enforce the messages being sung and shared.

11.  Choose music carefully.

Here are two of the most important considerations when choosing music.
   a.  Keep the capability and number of your singers in mind.
b.  Know your congregation. 
The choir certainly seeks to glorify God in their ministry, but it is also important to encourage God’s people through music that is carefully chosen to reflect the make up of your congregation.  In most churches, it works well to chose anthems which reflect a variety of styles.  For example, you might choose a ballad style or more reflective anthem for one service and a more upbeat and celebratory anthem for the next.  You might occasionally include an anthem that has a more southern gospel type style.  Don’t neglest newer, more contemporary choral arrangements.  You may be stretching your choir’s preferences when you introduce choral arrangements of contemporary worship songs, but this is one of the very things that will allow your choir to be more relevant to the hearts of all generations within your congregation.  Remember that when God inspires new songs for His people and His church, they are often a revelation of truth or a truth stated in a new way.  New songs are God speaking to hearts just as the new songs of 50 years ago did.

  c. Pray for wisdom, and procede with care in every decision about music choice.

  d. Make sure that the music has a clear message and is not too difficult.
In making the difficuly decision, consider more than just the capabilities and confident vocal ranges of your Choir.  Consider the difficulty of the accompaniment and the tech capabilities for making your choir heard.

  e. Avoid “big ending syndrome”.
Some Choral Anthems would not be as effective without a big ending. Just make sure that every single anthem does not end that way. Look for some anthems that fit your choir and have a great message with a more reflective ending. Have you heard the one about the little boy who asked his Mom, “Why does every song the choir sings end like this…?” (He demonstrates, with mouth open wide, tongue hanging out,…”AHHHH”)

  f. Support any special emphases at your church with your music selection when possible.
(For example, a special emphasis on prayer would be a great time to sing an anthem that is a prayer set to music or an anthem that talks about God’s faithfulness in hearing our prayers.)

  g.  Be open to newer music yourself, recognizing it as a sign that God is still at work in the hearts of His people, young and old.  Remember that both your choir and your congregation represent a variety of musical tastes.  Continually stretch your own musical tastes and those of your choir and congregation by including new music in your repertoire that may be more contemporary in nature but has a message that will speak to the hearts of everyone who is there as a true worshipper.  Worship should unite the generations.  If your focus is on giving glory to God, using the best of more traditional music in various genres and the best of what is new as well, your choir will be more likely to grow, to include younger singers, and to minister more broadly to your congregation as they bring glory to God through their worship and praise.  There is a lot of wonderful, God-honoring and exalting music out there in a wide variety of musical styles.  If your choir sings wholeheartedly, no matter how many years (or months) ago God inspired the writing of their music, worship wins!  God is honored when His people place worshipping Him and consideration for others above their own preferences.

Note:  For further reading on the subject of new songs, see our post entitled, Singing a New Song

Here, we’ll offer a few suggestions of more contemporary choral settings that will be enjoyed and be very meaningful and worshipful, even for more traditional choirs and congregations.

1.  “Blessings”  Try Heather Sorenson’s arrangement of Laura Story’s song, “Blessings”, published by Shawnee Press / Hal Leonard.  http://www.jwpepper.com/10292259.item

2.  “Who Can Satisfy?”  Our choir and our congregation both love a fantastic arrangement of Dennis Jernigan’s “Who Can Satisfy” by Gary Rhodes (Lifeway).  The arrangement has a really strong choral setting of the chorus, “There is a fountain / Who is the King / Victorious warrior, and Lord of everything / My Rock, my Shelter / My very own… / Blessed redeemer, who reigns upon the throne”.  The brief a cappella section during one of the repeats of the chorus is incredibly powerful (when sung well, of course).  Our congregation loves it so much that they are now singing along on the chorus when Travis turns around to direct them.  Here’s a link to the anthem:  http://www.lifeway.com/Product/who-can-satisfy-satb-anthem-min-10-P001220705

There is not a listening link with the anthem info, so here is a Youtube video of the song being shared during a worship service, performed by Riverview Baptist Church Worship Choir, Bixby Oklahoma. ~ January 30, 2011.  (Note:  This is not our choir but just a video we were able to find with the same arrangement we use.  There is also an arrangement of this song by Russell Mauldin for Word.)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3brh8Bjcvc

3.  “We Have Met to Worship”  by Travis L. Boyd from Worship Sounds Music
This is a contemporary, guitar and piano driven, setting of the traditional hymn, “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship”, arranged for worship choir, praise band, and congregation with the addition of Travis’ chorus, “For He’s Worthy”.  There’s also a full orchestration.  Our congregation (all ages) loves it and took to it right away.  You’ll find it on our Worship Sounds Music website’s “Solos / Worship Songs” page (info copied from the website is below).

Serving as a bridge between traditional hymns and modern worship songs, this arrangement features the hymn “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship,” combined with a new, contemporary chorus. 

*  Worship Pak,  $15.00
(includes PDFs for the Choral parts, piano accompaniment, rhythm section parts, and a string reduction for keyboard, with permission to make an unlimited number of copies, as needed for your groups)

*  Full orchestration, $25.00
(Bundled PDFs include Conductor’s score and reproducible parts for strings, winds, & percussion). 

*  Accompaniment Trax, $10.00 (MP3 download)

NOTE:  At Worship Sounds Music, all of our music is downloadable, and there are never any additional “per copy” fees.
The cost for the PDF master copy (and your printing costs) are all that you will pay for as many copies as you need to make.  Our goal is to be an affordable resource for worship choirs, soloists, and congregational worship, helping others to bring glory to God through their worship ministry.  

Our demos can’t capture the live worship experience with the full choir, praise team, and musicians.  Just imagine the choir singing these parts along with you (as worship leader) and the entire congregation.

Here’s the link to the “Worship Songs” tab on our website where you’ll find the purchasing link for “We Have Met to Worship”:
http://www.worshipsounds.com/Vocal_Solos.html#ws

SOMETHING ELSE FOR CHOIR DIRECTORS AND MINISTERS OF WORSHIP TO CONSIDER:

Georgia Minister of Music Greg Burrell (FBC, Barnesville) makes a good point about music selection and about extending the reach of choral worship ministry with this comment and the follow-up conversation from Facebook:

“Wow… comprehensive article! People LOVE a good choir, period! But what I’m learning is that we can’t relegate the choir to the “traditional” service, or it will become extinct.
We have to make a choir work in the service where the younger people are, or it will age itself into oblivion.
If Bruce Springsteen performs with choirs, certainly we can make it work, too.”

  Travis L Boyd  Very true, Greg. There are a lot of great choral arrangements of contemporary worship songs.

  Greg Burrell  And everyone loves black gospel. And once a month [in a more contemporary service, whatever frequency works in your situation], a truly powerful traditional anthem can reach people who never thought they liked that sort of thing… IF it is really done well!  Anything a choir cannot do well, they shouldn’t be doing in worship.  I’m speaking of adult choirs here; I don’t think anyone expects youth choirs to always be wonderful.  (Editor’s note:  Hopefully, most congregations will extend a lot of grace to student choirs who are just learning how to contribute as worship leaders and to sing in a choir, giving the youth an opportunity to grow through the experience.)

Note:  To further clarify the point about the necessity of only sharing with the congregation that which can be performed with excellence… whatever the genre may be, Greg offers this example (paraphrased here):
“If the director loves “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place” and wants to show his congregation “what real music is”, then takes that song [choral anthem] into the worship service and it is only mediocre, he has only hurt his cause, not helped it.  However, if he has time in [choir] rehearsal to play with “How Lovely…” and give his choir the great experience of getting to know the song, the investment of time can be valid, even if the song never makes it to the service.”

(Thank you for the feedback and for your permission to add it to the article, Greg.) 

12.  EXTENDING YOUR WORSHIP MINISTRY INTO THE COMMUNITY

FINALLY, take your choral worship ministry (and other worship ministry groups) outside the walls of the church and into the community and beyond as frequently as possible.  Contact the facility and find out who to speak with about your group.  Possible locations for ministry include:  your State Capitol (optain permission through your Representative), nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehab and long term care facilities (some do regular worship services, and some allow groups to come at other times), juvenile detention facilities, local arts festivals, a shelter or non-profit, a mall or shopping center (with permission – make sure that they will turn off their Muzak), a community or county-wide national day of prayer or patriotic observance, resorts or public entertainment venues (permission must be obtained, and some only permit outside concerts).  Make sure that your music is appropriate for the setting.  Performance is less important than ministry (by far!).  Your choir might sing an anthem or two at the nursing home and then join residents in singing some favorite hymn tunes.

1.  Make sure that the group which will be ministering off-site is well-prepared (confident that they know the music). aware of what to wear and what to bring, and aware of any rules for visitors to the location.

2.  Make a pre-trip to the site so that you can see any logistical or space challenges and then prepare accordingly (bring needed equipment, sing without risers in a room with a low ceiling, etc.).  Make sure that your group is physically able to meet the logistical challenges (bring a cart to help transport equipment, scout the equipment loading entrance and a drop off point for your group).  Make sure there are adequate restroom facilities and that the trip to and from the venue is well-planned, allowing necessary stops for a meal or break at sensible times.

3.  Build some time into your ministry schedule for relating to the people who have listened to your group.   Help with a non-musical ministry task when possible.

4.  Get creative and think of ways to minister in your own community and beyond.  Make this a matter of prayer for everyone on your worship team.

And serve them with all your soul in love, as unto our Lord and not as unto men.
~ Ephesians 6:7  (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

An important note about doing choral anthems with select singers on mics:
A comment was posted on a facebook link to this post which went something like this, “Don’t have the choir’s sound covered up by a few elite singers on individual mics!” 
For so many of us who are choral purists, this is a really tough pill to swallow.  However, we do need to keep in mind that a lot of Directors and Worship Ministers are doing what they have to do in order to allow their choirs to survive.  Given the mandate, “contemporize or die”, most of us would choose a praise team on mics in front of the choir rather than the alternative of choral extinction.  Hopefully, there are many situations out there where this mandate has not yet been spoken.  For directors, my advice would be to choose to contemporize (at a pace and to an extent and frequency that suits your situation, tech capabilities, and musicians) and earnestly seek to speak to the hearts of all generations on your own… before the mandate comes down (perhaps avoiding the mandate altogether).  In addition, my Minister of Worship hubby mentioned that sometimes the reason for having a few singers on mics is to addresss balance issues, especially when there is an orchestra in addition to accompanists and rhythm section.

The Trinity Worship Choir from Trinity Church (Assembly of God), Cedar Hill, TX, Minister of Worship Jeff Sparkman

The Trinity Worship Choir from Trinity Church (Assembly of God), Cedar Hill, TX, Minister of Worship Jeff Sparkman

GENERAL NEEDS:

1.  Make sure that there is a time and a place for worship ministry rehearsal and preparation.  Your worship ministry team will be as flexible as possible, but they do need some consideration.

2.  Make sure that there is an adequate budget for worship ministry.  There are ways to manage a worship ministry as frugally as possible, but the basic needs should be met.

3.  Make sure that there is child care for rehearsals.  If you want to encourage participation in worship ministry, this is a key priority.

4.  Listen and act (as soon as possible!) when your Worship Pastor or Choir Director says that some equipment is seriously outdated and in need of replacement.

The Prestonwood Baptist Church Worship Choir, Plano, TX, directed by Worship Pastor Todd Bell

The Prestonwood Baptist Church Worship Choir, Plano, TX, directed by Worship Pastor Todd Bell

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”  ~ Colossians 1:10

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
~ Romans 12:1 – 2

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This post was written by Cynthia Boyd, with a great deal of input from Travis L. Boyd

NOTE:  This post is a work in progress.  Travis has contibuted to the content, but there is more work to be done.  Specifically, I am going to have him refine the section on what Worship Pastors / Choir Directors can do and perhaps provide some additional guidance regarding practical matters such as song and anthem selection.  In addition, we are open to the thoughts and ideas of others on this topic.  Please let us know if there’s anything we failed to address in this article.

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Worship Links has posted a link and recommendation for this blog post, “How to Keep Church Choirs from Becoming Extinct”, with brief commentary.

http://www.worshiplinks.us/2014/02/saving-choir/

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Travis L. Boyd

Worship Pastor and Composer Travis L. Boyd

OUR MUSIC

Here’s a link to our listening page for music by Travis L. Boyd of Worship Sounds Music. 
You’ll hear publisher’s studio demos (from Lorenz, Shawnee Press / Hal Leonard, and Church Street), custom recordings, and our own demos for music that is offered only on WorshipSounds.com

https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/listen-to-my-music/

Click this image to go to the Adult Choir tab on the General Usage Anthems page of our Worship Sounds Music website.

Click this image to go to the General Usage Anthems page of our Worship Sounds Music website.

Here’s a link to our Worship Sounds Music website, where you will find downloadable Choral Anthems, Anthem Orchestrations, Vocal Solos, Worship Paks for our Congregational Worship Music, and Accompaniment Trax for both Anthems and Solos.  All of our music is designed to be practical for worship ministry, Biblically sound, musically memorable, lyrically meaningful, and very affordable.

http://www.worshipsounds.com

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*  ADDENDUM  * 

Help for teaching and learning about Worship
For  Worship Pastors, Pastors, and Ministerial Staff
Worship Team Members, and Church Members

KEY QUESTION:

* What should every Minister or Worship Team member (and every Christian) know and understand about worship? *

Here is an excerpt from our post called “Understanding Worship”:

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“So many people seem to think that worship is a 25 minute time of singing just before the preaching begins in a congregational worship service. Others have actually been told that the purpose of congregational worship is to “prepare the hearts of the people to receive the message from God’s word” (preaching).

However, in reality, worship is worship! It is not preparation for anything… except Heaven!

While it is certainly true that God can use any part of a worship service to speak to hearts and to draw people to Himself, and while it’s also true that He can continue to speak through the remainder of the service, that is the work of God’s spirit. He will use whatever and whomever He chooses to use. If we are lifting up Jesus in worship, the Lord will do the drawing of people unto Himself. Remember that we are to give God glory through the way that we live all of our lives, so times of corporate worship should certainly not be the only times that God can use our witness and our surrender for His glory and for our good. However, we are not worshipping God because of what He will do. We are worshipping Him for who He is. His deeds are an expression of His being, but it is who He is that matters most.

Worship is our response to recognizing God’s ultimate worth.

The goal of worship is to give God glory!

We do not worship God in order to prepare for something else or to obtain His favor. He gives His love and His favor freely because that is who He is. He is a loving and giving God… constantly giving life, mercy, love, grace, and our very breath through His sustaining power.

Yes, when we sing praises to God wholeheartedly, that is worship. We are reverently giving to God our praise, our thanks, our prayers, our lives, and our songs.

The preaching of God’s word is worship, too, when it brings God glory!
We worship through the proclamation of the word.

Unfortunately, many people have very wrong ideas about what worship is and how the concept of worship should fit into the everyday life of every Christian.

The primary focus for every Christian should be to relate to our holy God and worship Him, and yet we are woefully under-educated about how to do the very thing for which we were created and for which the church meets together every week. What day should we worship? Every day… not just on Sunday.

In a corporate worship service and in the way that we live our daily lives, our focus should be on worshipping God and giving Him glory. We choose to live our lives in thankfulness and in the awareness of God’s supremacy over everything, constantly seeking to give our best effort in every moment of our lives so that we may bring glory to Him. He is always giving, and we join Him in giving when we live our lives in an attitude of worship. Even as we give, He continues to give His spirit through us so that we can do all things through Christ. He blesses us with assurance and peace in His presence. He never stops giving.

However, when we view God only through the lens of our own lives, what we want Him to do for us, and the blessings we seek, then our focus becomes all about us.

We become more concerned about what we get out of worship and not concerned at all about what we give!

The Bible tells us repeatedly to give God honor, glory, blessing, praise, worship, exaltation, joyful singing, thanksgiving, reverence, awe, and all that we are. Just as He is constantly giving, we seek to give.

THIS IS THE KEY:

Worship (our response to our holy, almighty, and supreme God) is about giving!

It is not about us, or about our preferences, or about what we get out of the experience (although true worship does give back abundant blessings when we give Him the glory due His name!).

Worship is about seeing God for who He is…
the Creator of everything that is,
the Sustainer of Life,
the Holy and Righteous One,
the God of grace and glory,
the Merciful Father who sacrificed His one and only Son out of love for us!

Our response, then, becomes an effort to GIVE all that we are to Him, seeking to bring Him glory in all of life.

“Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘ Psalm 96:6 – 9

That is worship… worship as a lifestyle or way of life, seeking to bring God glory through giving Him all that we are… even our hurts and scars.

That’s what Jesus did and how He lived. He lived to bring glory to God through giving every moment as a sacrificial offering to His father, choosing obedience and God’s will over His own.

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You, since You have given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
I glorified Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which You gave me to do ;
and now, Father, glorify me in Your own presence with the glory which I had with You before the world was made.”” ~ John 17:1 – 5

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(The teaching on worship above is from “Understanding Worship” on the Worship Sounds Music blog)

If you disagree with the teaching that the act and the heart attitude of worship is one of seeking to glorify God as a result of recognizing who He is, giving Him all that we are, please read some of our other articles such as  “A Lifestyle of Worship”. It’s relatively short and is a static page. You will find the title above the header photo (mountain scene) on our blog. The title is a clickable link to the page.  In addition, read “Worship… It’s all about Giving!” and “The Missing Piece… ”  (see info and links below).

Would you like to read some of our other articles on Choral Worship and on worship in general?

Here are some links for you:

1. “The missing piece…What Every Christian Should Know About Worship”
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/the-missing-piece-what-every-christian-should-know-about-worship/

2. “31 Days of Praise (Scripture Devotions)
https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/31-days-of-praise/
This post has been recommended on Worship Links @   http://www.worshiplinks.us/2013/09/devotions-praise/

3. “Walking in Worship”
Note:
This article has also been published in the online magazine, “ChurchMag” with its original title
http://churchm.ag/walking-in-worship/
and on churchleaders.com , using the title, “What Worship REALLY Means”  @
http://www.churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/163955-cynthia-boyd-worship-really-means.html
* found on this blog @ https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/walking-in-worship/

OUR OTHER POSTS ABOUT WORSHIP: (Our pages, like the one on Lifestyle Worship, have titles that are always visible on the blog header.  Our posts are categorized, and all of the posts on worship can be found in our category called “Worship…with Wonder!” (and the sub-categories in that topic).  Here are links to 7 of our most widely read posts about worship.

Music is a gift…Worship the Giver!
This article was also published by TheWorshipCommunity.com @  http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/music-is-a-gift-worship-the-giver/

Worship Planning and Preparation

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Psalm 100: A Prescription for Praise!

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”

~   Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

Make a joyful noiseI love Psalm 100!

These 5 short verses are a prescription for a life of thanksgiving and praise!

Within these verses, we find the “why” of praise.

Why do we praise God?

* 1 *  Because He is good  (verse 5)

* 2 *  Because His mercy is everlasting   (verse 5 ~ some translations use “steadfast love”)

* 3 *  Because His truth endures to all generations   (v. 5 ~ some versions say “faithfulness”)

* 4 *  Because we are His people   (v. 3)

* 5 *  Because He is like a Shepherd to us   (v. 3 ~ He cares for our needs since we are the sheep of His pasture.)

* 6 *  Because the pasture is His   (v. 3 ~ We dwell within His creation, another provision.)

* 7 *  Because He is God   (v.3)

* 8 *  Because He made us   (v. 3)

* 9 *  Because anything we have as far as abilities and gifts (anything good within us) came from Him  (v. 3 ~ We didn’t make ourselves.)

* 10 *  Because He allows us to come into His presence   (v. 4 ~ We can enter His gates, His courts.)

* 11 *  Because He wants to be in relationship and fellowship with us, He gives us the keys to His presence.   (v. 4 He tells us that thanksgiving and praise are the outer and inner gateways to communion with Him.)

* 12 *  Because He wants us to be glad and to be joyful, to have hearts that sing.   (v. 1 & 2 ~ He even wants to hear and share in our joy!)

Did you see those 12 reasons for praise in the 5 verses of Psalm 100 before?  I have read this Psalm hundreds of times in the 35 years since I became a Christian, but I don’t think I saw all of the reasons for praise until I started looking for them.

Isn’t it amazing that our God is so good that we can find 12 reasons for praising Him in only 5 short verses of scripture.  He is amazing!  THAT’S WHY WE PRAISE HIM!

The Lord is great, He is Sovereign, He is personal, He is a loving and caring Shepherd, He claims us as His own, He wants us to know Him, He is a God of truth, He is merciful (FULL of mercy), He is a giver, He is generous (desiring our joy!), He has our best interests at heart, and He is powerful.

He is God.

Knowing the 5 verses of Psalm 100 can be a lifelong reminder of the reasons to praise Him. There’s something else in these verses as well. We not only have the “why” of praise in Psalm 100. We also have the “how”.

So, how are we to praise the Lord?

Praise God as the Source of all blessings* with a joyful noise (v. 1)
* with glad hearts as we serve Him (v. 2)
* with singing (v. 2)
* with the reverent recognition of who He is (v. 3)
* with thanksgiving (v. 4)
* with blessing for His name (v. 4)
* with knowledge that praise is the password to His presence (v. 4)
* with the desire to go deeper in seeking and knowing Him (also v. 4, drawing near as we come into his courts)

Finally, we find that remembering the how and why of praise found in Psalm 100 can help us to live in fellowship with the Lord as we continually look for more reasons to give Him praise and seek to live our lives for His glory.  

There are many benefits to living a life of praise, because praise is good medicine!

Unlike prescriptions for medication, praise has no harmful side effects. The benefits of praise are spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical.

Here are 10 of the benefits of praise:

Praise   Lets just praise the Lord* Praise focuses our attention on the eternal and causes us to let go of our earthly concerns for a while.

* Praise reminds us why we love and trust our great God. It reminds us who He is.

* Praise helps us to remember that God’s salvation goes beyond meeting our greatest need (for Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior) to meeting our everyday needs through all of the ways that God shepherds and cares for us and helps us to grow in grace.

* When we praise the Lord specifically for all that He is and all that He has done, we are confronted with God’s sovereignty, Jesus’ glory as the only begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit’s comfort and guidance.

* Praise brings peace to our hearts because it reminds us that He is our peace.

* Praise makes us glad as we remember that He is the joy of every longing heart.

* Praise gives us eternal perspective and helps us hold on to faith in God, even when things don’t seem to make sense.

* Praise allows God to meet us where we are and minister to us at the point of our deepest need.

* Praise takes our eyes off of ourselves and focuses them on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

* Praise allows us to give something of eternal value to the Giver of all things. We can give something of eternal value only because God invested Himself in us when He chose to die for us. He can redeem us through the power of His great love and make us into eternal beings who will see His glory and become worthy of His presence through the shedding of His own blood. He gives value to our weakest effort. His strength is perfected in our human weakness. As we praise Him, we recognize and affirm His infinite worth and supreme glory as the God of all creation. He, in turn, lifts us up with the knowledge that He cares for us and values our lives, our souls, and even our human efforts to live in such a way that our lives bring Him glory.

With results like that, this prescription for praise should be administered daily!

See the information below about our most often read blog post, 31 Days of Praise, to give you a full month of praise scripture devotions.

Below, you will find a memorization helper photo for Psalm 100.  Print it in whatever size works for you, and use it as a memory aide to help you learn the 5 incredible verses of Psalm 100.

Use this scripture memory photo for the 5 verses of Psalm 100 to read it aloud each day and memorize this passage by Day 17.

Use this scripture memory photo for the 5 verses of Psalm 100 to read it aloud each day and memorize this passage

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31  DAYS OF PRAISE  

This blog post originally was (and still is) the praise devotion for day 17 in our “31 Days of Praise” blog post (see link below).

Most of the devotions consist of a praise verse, a truth about praise drawn from that verse, and a short, devotional paragraph with thoughts about praise inspired by that verse.  However, this particular devotion is longer…quite a bit longer.  It is the only long-ish devotion in “31 Days of Praise” because there’s just so much in Psalm 100.  The more I looked, the more I found, and the more there was to share about this passage of scripture and our great God.  With this much to share, I decided after I published the 31 devotions that this particular devotion needed to become a separate post as well.  Psalm 100 is even more special to me now that the Lord has revealed so much about it and about Himself through it.  We hope that this post will be a blessing.  Don’t forget to check out “31 Days of Praise” for 30 short devotions about praise + one that is a little long-ish.

Here’s the link to   31 Days of Praise

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd.
This post can be reprinted in an unpaid church publication as long as the author’s name and blog URL are included.  It does need to be printed in its entirety.  We stand by each post on our blog, so we require that no edits be made.  Even the tiniest edit might alter the meaning or original intent of a post.  For a paid publication, obtaining permission is required.

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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The Choir in Praise

 Sing praise to the Lord  sunrise“Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.”   Psalm 30:4

As Choir members (soloists, vocalists in ensembles or Praise Teams), we are in a position of leadership in Worship Ministry every time that we are in the loft or on the platform. 

Sing praises with understandingWe need to have a clear understanding of praise and worship in order to both personally worship the Lord and to lead others in worship.  First, we must understand the difference between praise and worship.

Consider this fact:  the Bible speaks about praise and worship in distinctive ways, sometimes using both words in the same passage of scripture.

*  “O Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.”   Psalm 51:15

*  “Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; give to Him glorious praise!”   Psalm 66:1

I will sing praise*  “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”   Psalm 69:30

*  “Praise ye the Lord; O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?  Who can show forth all His praise?”   Psalm 106:1 & 2

In the verses above, certain facts about praise begin to emerge.

1.  Praise is outward.  It is sung or spoken; it is uttered; it is shown forth.

2.  Praise focuses on the attributes of God and what He has done.

3.  Praise is obviously important, for we are told repeatedly to do it.

Now, lets look at some verses that talk about worship.

*  “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

*  (Jesus speaking)  “The hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23 & 24

Worship the Lord with gladness*  “I appeal to you therfore, brethren, by the mercies of God , to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

*  “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

From these scriptures, we see several truths about worship.

1.  Worship is our response to who God is and what He has done, as we lovingly and reverently choose to acknowledge God’s supremacy over all of Creation and his ultimate worth as Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Comforter, and the Author and Finisher of our faith.

2.  Worship must be done in honesty, knowing that God sees our hearts.  We worship Him truthfully as we come to Him in a spirit of humility and acknowledge our own faults and even our struggles with faith and doubt.  Truthful worship honors God because we are trusting our weaknesses to Him, knowing that He is good.

Worship by giving God all of you3.  Worship that is acceptable and holy to God involves a commitment of all our our lives, choosing to live in a way that honors God and give Him glory.  He has sacrificed His all for us; and we, in turn, become living sacrifices to Him as we commit ourselves to living reverently.  Notice that the physical (presenting of our bodies and our lives as an offering to the Lord) becomes spiritual (our spiritual worship) as we respond to God’s mercies by lovingly giving ourselves.

4.  No matter what has happened in our lives, true worship involves choosing gratitude to God as we recognize that what is temporary is only part of reality.   We look forward in faith, with the assurance that the eternal reality we will someday experience in full will replace all sorrow and pain with joy and the complete knowledge of how much we are loved.

With the fundamental understanding that praise is choosing to express our acknowledgement of who God is and what He has done and that worship is our loving and reverent response to God’s goodness and love in every area of our lives, let us continue to focus on the role of God’s singers in praise and worship.  Although we are always concerned with musical excellence, that concern is secondary to the intentional commitment of our voices in praise and our hearts and lives in worship.

“As a worship pastor and a choir leader, I am constantly desiring to walk the line where authenticity and excellence meet, ministering deeply to the hearts of people, and, more importantly to the heart of God.”

–  Travis Cottrell, Christian Artist, worship pastor, songwriter

Let’s look at a Psalm that puts our lives and God’s supremacy into perspective.

Psalm 103

English Standard Version (ESV)

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

A Psalm of David.

Bless the Lord O my soul103 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me,  bless his holy name!  2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits;  3   who forgives all your iniquity,  who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit,  who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame;  He remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;  he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,  and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 22 Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

So, WHY DO WE PRAISE THE LORD?

I sing praise to You1) Because the very greatness of God demands it.

2) Because we have been very blessed.

3) Because it helps us to focus on God and not on ourselves.

4) Because praise helps to prepare our hearts for God to do a work in them.

WHY DO WE SING PRAISES TO GOD AS A CHOIR?

1) Because it is Biblical.

2) Because it is a powerful way to express praise to God

3) Because it adds energy and life to the times of focused, congregational worship

4) Because a choir is able to prepare expressions of praise that a congregation can not.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER WHEN SINGING IN CHOIR?

1)  We are a singing group, not a group of singers.  We are joining our voices together in praise, with the ultimate goal of bringing glory to God.

What a difference!  This choir is aware that part of communicating the message effectively is eye contact and facial expression.  They are visually engaged in worship when they sing.

This choir is aware that part of communicating the message effectively is eye contact and facial expression. They are visually engaged in worship when they sing.

2)  We must do all we can do to help further an atmosphere conducive to leading God’s people in worship each week.

a. We must have invested the time to be prepared (musically and spiritually).

b. We must be ready to serve the Lord through worship ministry, bringing a servant’s attitude.

c. Our countenance (facial expression and radiance) should be a reflection of worship and praise as well.

d. We must be authentic worshippers who seek to live a lifestyle of worship throughout the week.

3)  The reason that we have come together is not to sing.  It is to worship.  Singing is a part of our worship as we seek to bring glory to God and to express our praise to Him, but the heart of worship is our desire to intentionally express God’s ultimate worth through all that we are.

WORSHIP SCRIPTURES

“But I, through the abundance of Your steadfast love, will enter Your house, I will worship toward Your holy temple in reverence, and awe of You.”  Psalm 5:7

“Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is Holy.”   Psalm 99:5

beauty of holiness“Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

“And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.”‘  Luke 4:7

(Jesus speaking)  “The hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23 & 24

“I appeal to you therfore, brethren, by the mercies of God , to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and wonderful are Thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!  Just and true are Thy ways, O King of the ages!  Who shall not fear and glorify Thy name, O Lord?  For Thou alone art Holy.  All nations shall come and worship Thee, for Thy judgements have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:3 & 4

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The above post includes teaching about worship and praise shared with our Adult Choir by Travis L. Boyd

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FOR FURTHER STUDY ON WORSHIP AND PRAISE

(Below, you will find information about praise and worship from a leadership course about what it means to praise God and what it means to worship God.  The information has been slightly and condensed and edited.)   The web address for the resource found below is http://leresources.com/praise_and_worship.html

Praise and worship are distinct, yet closely related activities. 

A.  Praise is an outward expression of your love for God.  It is a natural and very important part of worship, which is our loving response to the presence of God in our lives.

1.   Praise is a choice.  You can choose to express your love for God at any time, and in any situation.  You can praise Him for who He is, for what He has done, and for what He has promised to do.

2.   Your praise can be addressed directly to God, but it is often directed to others around us, proclaiming His greatness and encouraging others to praise Him.  Praise can even be directed to the spiritual forces in the heavenlies, proclaiming the greatness of the true God.

3.  Though God certainly knows when we are in an attitude of praise and hears the praises of our hearts, we must remember that, by definition, praise must be expressed.  If you have thought about something nice regarding someone you know but have not expressed those thoughts verbally, you have not praised him or her.  Within gatherings such as the congregation and within relationships, praise is expressed by voicing our love and admiration, often specifically mentioning the attributes or actions of the person being praised.  Praise can be written, spoken or sung; but it must be expressed.

4.  When you praise God, He will respond by manifesting His presence to you.  When you experience God’s presence, you are able to respond directly to Him, and tell Him how much you love Him.  That response is called worship.  In worship, you experience intimacy with God, and express your adoration to Him.

B.   Praise is the gateway through which we must pass to enter into the presence of God and worship Him. 

1.  Praise and worship are the activities of heaven and are also very important for the Body of Christ on Earth.

2.  If you do not learn to praise God as He wants to be praised, you will fail to experience His presence, and your worship will be lacking.

3.  You were created to praise and worship God.  (See Romans 12:1)  When you give yourself to the activity of praise and worship, you are fulfilling the purpose for which you are made.  Because of this, the praise and worship of God brings a fulfillment and satisfaction that nothing else in the universe can bring.             

C.  It pleases God when we praise Him.

1.   The Psalms tell us that God comes and manifests His presence in our midst when we praise Him. He inhabits the praises of His people!

2.   The importance that God places on praise is revealed by the frequency of scriptural exhortations about it.  The most frequent exhortation in all of the Bible is to PRAISE THE LORD!  (It is also interesting to note that the longest book in the Bible is the book of Psalms — a book of praise songs!)

D.  It is important to God how you praise and worship Him. 

1.  The example of the tabernacle of Moses in the Old Testament shows us that God has the right to be praised and worshipped as HE desires.  When the people chose to disregard His instructions and follow their own ideas and traditions, He was displeased!

2.   If we are to praise and worship God, we must look to His Word to understand how He desires to be praised and worshipped.  We must allow God to instruct us about how we are to offer up our praise and commit to doing so!

What is Praise?

A    Remember the definition of praise:  Biblical praise is the free expression of love and appreciation to God.

1.    It is important that you love God.  Jesus said that the greatest commandment is that you love the Lord your God.  It is also important, however, for that love to be expressed outwardly.

2 .   A husband and wife may love each other; but if that love is never expressed, if there are no loving words or actions exchanged, their relationship is not good.  A general principle is:  When love is not expressed, it shrivels up and dies.  When love is expressed, it grows.

3.    It is important for your love of God to be expressed outwardly.  That outward expression of your love for Him is PRAISE.

B.  How can we express our love for God in a way that pleases Him?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” — Mk 12:30

1.  We must open our hearts to God and not attempt to withhold any part of our lives and hearts from Him.  He knows all about us, anyway.

2.  Because we are emotional beings, we must not suppress genuine emotion in expressing our praise.

3.  Praise must come from our innermost being (our soul), which involves choosing to surrender our will.  The decision to praise is a decision of the will.

4.  Even though we are emotional beings, our decision to praise the Lord must not be based upon feelings or circumstances.  In the Psalms, we can see that David spoke to his soul even in the midst of despair and commanded it, “Praise the Lord, O my soul!”   David made a decision, an act of the will, that he would praise the Lord even if he did not feel like it.  Psalm 146 says, “I will praise the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to Him as long as I live!”  That is a choice!  Very often, the times when we do not feel like praising are the very times we need to praise God most.  We need to decide to praise Him because He is worthy of praise, even when we do not feel like it!  When we make that choice, we are expressing love for God from our very souls.

5.   Our minds must be fixed upon God, and our praise must be more than simple repetition.  This involves our intellect.  This is important!  Some people express praise to God that has no meaning.  They just say, over and over, “Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”  God wants your love to be expressed with your minds.  To praise God deeply, you need to express a real understanding of who God is.

4    Our strength is also to be employed in expressing our love for God through praise.  Praise involves physical activity.  The Bible talks of David “praising God with all of his might.” (2 Sam 6:14).  That is expressing love with your strength.

C.   Why is Praise Important?

Eph 1:6,12,14 and 1 Pet 2:9 state that one of God’s purposes for saving us is to be a people who would show forth His praises in the earth.

1.  Praise aligns our hearts to God. 

2.  Praise opens our hearts to receive from Him.

3.  Praise clears away distractions.  Only when we choose to focus on praising the Lord can we clear our minds of other concerns.

4.  Praise builds faith.  As we choose to focus on praising God rather than upon our problems, faith rises within us.

5.  Praise brings His presence.  When we truly praise God, His presence is manifested in your midst, often in a very tangible way.  We know that God is present everywhere, at all times and that there is nothing that is out of His control (His omipresence).  We also know that, for every person who is a true believer in Jesus Christ, God lives within that individual in a special way.  (When you trusted in Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit of God took up residence in your heart.  He is always with you to comfort, to enlighten, and to teach you as you read His Word.  You may not feel His presence, but by faith you can know that He is there.  This is God’s indwelling presence.)  What the Bible speaks of when scripture says that God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3) is His manifest presence.

a)   God’s presence is manifest when He chooses to make His presence known.  It is when He makes Himself tangible to you.  You experience Him and enter into a spiritual intimacy with Him.  This is also when His power is revealed.  (Power is an outflow of communion with Him.)

b)   When we experience the manifest presence of God, He is there to heal, to comfort, to energize His gifts, or to manifest His power.  If you want to experience God’s presence, and see God work in power in your life, the solution is to learn to praise Him.

6.   Praise defeats the enemy.  See Psalm 149:   The first six verses give us a beautiful description of praise, but in verse 7 and following, it changes to a description of warfare.   There are times when you know you are under attack.  Everything seems to go wrong.  Many times, it is just after you have made a step forward in your spiritual life.  Sometimes it is when you are just getting ready to begin a new area of ministrWhat do you do when the enemy attacks?  One solution is to praise God.

How is Praise Expressed?

In the Old Testament, there are seven Hebrew words used for praise.  Each one of these describes a specific way of expressing your love to God.

A.   The Physical Expression of Praise.

1.  Yadah and Towdah (to praise with lifted hands).

a)   The first two words for praise are very similar in meaning.  They are Yadah and Towdah.  They both come from the Hebrew word that means “to extend the hand”.  These two describe an expression of praise by extending the hands upward to God in adoration.

b)  Yadah” is the most frequently used word for praise in the Bible.  Most of the exhortations to praise use this word.

c)   The lifting of hands is an outward expression of love, dependency, submission, and appreciation.

d)   When you raise your hands to God, it tells your mind that you are dealing with someone greater than you are.

2.   Barak (To bend the knee in praise, to bow down before).

a)   Barak” describes an expression of praise that uses not just the hands, but the whole body.  It is the expression of praise by kneeling or bowing down to God.

b)   When we bow down before God, we are acknowledging Him as our Lord, the King of the universe.  It is very appropriate to express our praise to Him in this way.

c)   Your bodies were designed by God to be instruments to express His praise.  It is valid to stand, kneel, lift your hands, or fall down on your face before Him.  God wants you to be free to express your praise to him with your bodies.

B.  The Musical Expression of Praise.

Music is spiritually significant for a number of reasons.  Music makes you sensitive to hear God (2 Kings 3:14-16), it communicates spiritual truth (Col 3:16), and (if played under the anointing of God) it can drive away spiritual enemies (1 Sam 16:14-23).

1.   Zamar (to praise God with a musical instrument).

a)   Zamar comes from a root word that means “to pluck strings of a musical instrument.”  This word is used in several passages, including Psalm 135:3 and Psalm 147:7.  (This is the Hebrew word we get the word “Psalms” from.  The Psalms were songs to be sung together with instruments.)

b)   The Bible indicates that the instrumental part of the music is important.  Psalm 150 exhorts us to praise God on string, wind, and percussion instruments.  The Israelites used all the instruments they had as instruments for praising God.

2.  Tehillah (to express praise in song).

a)  The word “tehillah comes from a root word that means “to sing.”

b)   It is used in such passages as Psalm 34:1-2.  “His praise (tehillah) shall continually be in my mouth” and Psalm 100:4, “Enter His courts with praise (tehillah).”

c)  Not all singing is praise, even if you are singing hymns or praise songs.  Singing songs of praise becomes praise when you are singing to the Lord as an expression of love to Him.

d)   In Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16, Paul describes three categories of songs to sing to the Lord.

       Psalms – The Psalms are Biblical songs.  Even though we do not know the original tunes to the Psalms, we can take the words of the Psalms and set them to music and sing these inspired songs to God.

       Hymns – Hymns are songs of praise to God that are not part of the Bible.  The modern expressions of praise we sing today, as well as the hymns written through the history of the church, would all be included in the category of hymns.

       Spiritual Songs – Spiritual songs are songs given by the Spirit, for a particular moment.  They are a spontaneous expression of love for God.  There are two categories of spiritual songs:

C.   The Free Expression of Joy

Sometimes God wants you to be deep and thoughtful in your expression of love, but at other times the love inside of you wants to burst forth in free expression.  There are times when you want to shout it from the rooftops!  There are two words that describe this kind of praise:

1.    Halal (to celebrate)

a)    halal” is a Hebrew word that means to celebrate. 

b)   Halal means to express your love for God by joyously and freely celebrating before Him.

c)   Biblical descriptions of Halal involve clapping hands, dancing, shouting, and rejoicing before the Lord.  This word is used in such passages as Psalm 47:1-6 and Psalm 150.

d)  It is from the word “halal” that we get the word “hallelujah”.  (Hallelujah is an exhortation to have a halal for Yahweh).

In 2nd Samuel 6, when the ark was brought into Jerusalem, David took off his robe and danced before the Lord.  (That was halal.)  His wife, Michal, watched David dance and despised him for it.  When he returned, she criticized him and accused him of making a fool of himself by dancing before the Lord.

David responded to Michal by saying that it was all right to look foolish for God.  He told her that he would continue to be foolish for God, because everything he had was given to him by God.

The passage concludes by mentioning God’s judgment on Michal for criticizing David’s dancing.  Because she despised David’s joyful praise, God made Michal barren for the rest of her life.  The lesson here is to be careful of criticizing other people’s praise.

2.  Shabach (to shout).

a)  Shabach” means to praise in a loud tone, to shout, or to shout in triumph.  It is used in such passages as Ps 117:1 and Ps 147:12.  This form of praise is common in the Bible.

b)  In Nehemiah, the people rejoiced before the Lord; and the noise of their celebration was so loud that it could be heard a long way off.  They were shouting before the Lord.

c)   Rev 19:1, 4-6:  In this description of heavenly praise, the roar of all the heavenly hosts shouting their praises is so loud that it sounds like thunder.

If your praise is weak, your worship will be shallow.  If you enter into the high praises of God and praise Him with all of your might, you will find that your high praise will be followed by a time of deep worship.

Note:  The worship resource above, copied and edited here, can be found in its entirety at http://leresources.com/praise_and_worship.html

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More about praise from http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-to-praise-and-worship-god-faq.htm

When we worship, we are expressing our reverent love and devotion to God. Worship is the act of doing something like reading the Bible, praying, or singing. However, worship is not limited to only to these things. When we praise, we are expressing our admiration for God; we are lifting Him up in exaltation. Praise is the act of celebrating or boasting about the Lord. Praise can be done through song, poems, or confessing the goodness of God to others. We should be giving God our praise and worship through our daily lives. We can do this at home, in our work place, on the bus – wherever we are! Praise and worship is a way of life, the very heartbeat of our relationship with God.

You are here: Prayer >> Praise To God

Praise To God – The Importance of Praise

Praise to God is what we offer in acknowledgement of God’s excellent being. You might think that praise is the same as saying “thank you,” but there is a difference. Thanksgiving describes our attitude toward what God has done, while praise is offered for who God is. Psalm 18:3 says “I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise…”

All believers are commanded to praise God! In fact, Isaiah 43:21 explains that praise is one reason we were created, “This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.” Hebrews 13:15 confirms this: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

Praise originates in a heart full of love toward God. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Are you a Christian today? If so, you know that you love God because He first loved you! Without God’s love, any praise you can offer is hollow. Love, born from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, is an essential part of your praise.

Praise To God – How to Praise God

How can you bring praise to God? What can you do to make it an integral part of your life? Praise can be expressed in song, in verse, or in prayer and it is to be done continuously! Psalm 34:1 instructs, “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 71:6 says, “From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.”

Praise to God is expressed outwardly through our everyday actions, as well as inwardly in our thoughts. Praise is an act of Christian worship.

“Where do I begin?” you may ask. “How do I start praising God?” If praising God is new to you, try praising God for who He is to you, personally. Proclaim that God’s goodness is without measure; it is abundant and overflowing! Here are some ways to get started:

• Praise God for His holiness, mercy, and justice (2 Chronicles 20:21, Psalm 99:3-4).

• Praise God for His grace (Ephesians 1:6).

• Praise Him for His goodness (Psalm 135:3).

• Praise God for His kindness (Psalm 117).

• Praise God for His salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Praise to God can be offered anywhere! In time, it will become as normal as taking a breath. Sometimes we praise God inwardly as in Psalm 9:2, “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” Other times we have opportunity to give glory and praise to our God publicly. Psalm 22:22 says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.” Search out opportunities to bring praise to God!

Praise To God – Who Praises God?

Praise to God, while offered particularly by His children as the freewill expression of grateful hearts, will one day be offered by everyone! The Bible says that when He comes again, all mankind will praise Him and acknowledge Him as Lord. He is King over all the earth. When we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, our hearts long to praise His name. Philippians 2:9-11 tells us His name represents His being, describing who He is, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The Bible also records:

• All nature praises God (Psalm 148:7-10).

• The sun, moon, and stars praise Him (Psalm 19:1 and 148:3).

• The angels praise Him (Psalm 148:2).

• Even the wrath of men is used by God to praise Himself (Psalm 76:10).

• Children are to be taught to praise God (Psalm 78:4).

Praise To God – Do You Proclaim His Praise?

Your praise to God is evidenced through your salvation. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

NOTE:  The above can be found at http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-to-praise-and-worship-god-faq.htm

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Read more!

The book “God’s Singers”, by Dave Williamson, is a great resource for Worship Leaders and Choir Directors.  Singers would enjoy the special Singer’s edition of the book.  Here  is a review of the book, from Worship Leader online magazine.

God’s Singers

By | Categories: In Review
Author: Warren Anderson
Every so often a worship music book is published that becomes recognizable as the definitive, go-to reference for its particular genre in its particular generation.  In our time, if you wish to talk about the history of music in the Church, go to Paul Westermeyer’s Te Deum.  If building a case for congregational song is your desire, your first stop should be John Bell’s A Case for Congregational Song.  Want a grad-school-level analysis of how contemporary worship music is used these days?  The Message in the Music (Robert Woods and Brian Walrath) is your best bet.Dave Williamson’s God Singers joins these other must-haves where the specific subject of worship-leading choirs is concerned.  Every possible topic that should be covered in a book of this nature is here.  Biblical support for the use of choirs in worship?  Check.  Lots and lots of practical how-to’s for getting the best sound out of your singers?  Got it.  Sociological discussions of issues inherent in corporate ministry, even ones peculiar to choral singing?  Yep.  Stylistic techniques for transforming your choristers into a black-gospel choir, a rock choir, or a modern-worship choir—i.e., what to do with vibrato, vocal licks, and syncopation?  They’re here.  Helpful appendices from Williamson’s 40 years in the biz?  Nine of them.  Consider purchasing the (condensed) singer’s edition for your choir members and the (expanded) director’s edition, which includes a CD-ROM of ancillaries, for yourself.  Highly recommended. Title: God’s Singers Author: Dave Williamson Publisher: In:cite Media
Here’s a link to the Singer’s Edition of the book on ChristianBook.com:  http://www.christianbook.com/gods-singers-singers-edition-dave-willimason/9780615406312/pd/406312
NOTE:  The quotation by Travis Cottrell found in this blog post came from his online recommendation for this book.
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