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

Posts tagged ‘corporate worship’

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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The missing piece…What Every Christian Should Know About Worship

SOMETHING IS MISSING…

What is the missing piece of the puzzle?

What is the missing piece of the puzzle?

Many Christians try to do what they know they need to do in order to grow as a Christian and become more like Jesus. We read our Bibles, we pray, we attend church, we sing songs of worship, and we try to be a witness for Christ through the way we live our lives as well as by what we say. Some Christians even take responsibility for sharing the good news about Jesus when the opportunity arises. Sadly, for many Christians, there is still a nagging feeling that something is missing. My personal belief, based upon years of learning from scripture, from the writings and teachings of others (through books, sermons, articles, and conferences), and from my own experience, is that true worship is the missing piece.

KEY A:  RELATIONSHIP  THROUGH  WORSHIP
True worship connects us to the very heart of God like nothing else can.

Jesus said to the woman at the well that God is Spirit and that all who truly worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)  Jesus named only two requirements for authentic worship, and yet there are many Christians who don’t feel that they really understand what it means to worship.  Others may not have spent much time thinking about worship but would admit that their corporate worship experiences seem to be lacking in some way and that their personal worship time is practically non-existant

Remember that Jesus could have spoken to the woman at the well about anything, and yet He chose to talk about worship.  Certainly, acts of service and devotion are vitally important.  So is sharing the gospel, as well as other critical elements of the Christian life, such as discipleship, fellowship with other believers, Biblical knowledge, and prayer,  And yet, Jesus chose to talk about worship   His conversation with the Samaritan woman was life changing for her.  She was confronted with the truth about who she was.  She initially recognized that Jesus must somehow be very closely related to God since He knew everything about her, and she ultimately realized that she was seeing God Himself in the form of a man.  The woman’s response to these revelations of truth (who Jesus/God is and who she was) revealed the change that had occured in her life as a result of her encounter with Christ.  She, who had been such an outcast that she ceme to the well alone at a time when no one else would be there, suddenly wanted to tell everyone what had just happened to her.  She wanted to run into town to tell them about the man she had met and what He said.  She was full of joy and excitement.  She had recognized her need, seen the fulfillment of that need in Christ, said “yes!” in her heart, and was ready to share the news!  That’s what true worship does.  It changes us, empowers us, fills us with wonder and joy, and makes us want to share what (and Who!) we have known and experienced with others.  When we see God for Who He really is, the transformation that occurs as a result of that encounter with the living God is a part of why worship is so important for me, for you, and for every Christian.

Here are some truths about worship and some practical helps for understanding your role as a worshipper.

Key B:   UNDERSTANDING  WORSHIP  BEGINS
WITH  UNDERSTANDING  WHO  GOD  REALLY  IS.

Worship is not some mystical activity that only people who have a Doctorate in Theology can understand.  God is revealed to us through His presence, through the Holy Spirit, through His word, and through the blessings and even challenges of life when we are looiking for His hand at work.

God is ... header

Simply stated, our lives, our thoughts, and the attitudes of our hearts matter to God. If we are going to seek to live a life that uplifts and blesses the lives of others and honors our Creator God through purity of purpose and a legacy of lasting (eternal) impact on the world, God knows that we must first be in right relationship with Him. He longs for us to know Him as He knows us. After we have come into relationship with God by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, this is where worship comes into the picture. When we begin to understand who God really is and catch a vision of His infinite love and mercy, our reasonable response to this revelation of truth is…worship.

Remember that God does not desire our worship so that he can become great. He is already great. He does not need to be elected as “Supreme Ruler of the Universe” by all of humanity. He is already the supreme ruler of the universe. God does not desire empty accolades or flowery speeches of devotion. He desires relationship with us.

KEY C:  THE MINDSET OF WORSHIP
We are never closer to the heart of God than when we

* see ourselves and our need for God

at the same time that we

* see who He is (our all-sufficient Creator, Savior, and Sustainer)

and then respond in true worship.

Worship God in Spirit and Truth

Worship God in Spirit and Truth

KEY D:  THE  REQUIREMENTS  FOR  WORSHIP

1. JESUS  SAID  THAT  WE  MUST  WORSHIP  “IN  SPIRIT”.
How can that happen?

What do we need in order for relationship with God to happen so that we can worship God in Spirit? First, we need a bridge of salvation from God to man so that we can accept His provision for our spiritual need and allow Him to begin to work in our hearts, minds, and souls. Accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior allows God to begin the process of making us holy so that one day we can dwell with Him (without making Heaven unholy). If we are going to be in relationship with Him while still on earth and in the process of becoming like Christ, we must be given spiritual understanding and spiritual life. To accomplish this, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live within us when we come to know Him. Even a child can understand that Jesus gave His life in order to pay the penalty for our sin. It doesn’t take a college degree to grasp the fact that our salvation is the beginning of a process of becoming like Christ so that we may one day dwell with God in a holy place where none of the consequences of sin can exist. However, we must move on from that beginning point of salvation to learning and growing in the deeper spiritual truths, including our understanding of worship, which we can do with the help of God’s spirit, who leads us into all truth when we are seeking more.

So, God has done the initial work of making our salvation and relationship with Him possible. He has done the important work of helping us to grow in Christ through the indwelling of His Spirit, and He has also done the work of fulfilling the first requirement of true worship through the indwelling.  We can worship God “in Spirit” when we have the Spirit of God living within us after accepting Christ as our Savior (as long as we don’t allow sin or the concerns of the world to drown out the still, small voice of God’s spirit).  Remember what Jesus said.  God is Spirit, and when we worship Him “in Spirit”, we are connecting spiritually in a unique way.  Father God who sustains us and who has provided a a way of salvation throught Jesus, God the Son, responds to the Spirit of God within us.

Worship Him2. JESUS  SAID  THAT  WE  MUST  WORSHIP  “IN  TRUTH”.
True worship comes with surrender and getting real.

What about the “in truth” requirement for worship?  What does that mean?

First, as we come to an understanding of who God is and His characteristics as the Creator and Lord of all, at some point we learn that God knows all and that He looks upon our hearts. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows us more intimately than anyone else ever could. He knows our fears, our failures, our sorrows, our sin, our hopes, our loves, and our priorities. He knows what we worship. Our job is to get real with Him.  We must come to realize that faking spiritual life or pretending to surrender to God or acting the part of a genuine worshipper will never be enough for true relationship with Him.

If we say that we worship God and yet devote most of our energy and thoughts to something else (even to all of the busy-ness of serving God that we sometimes allow to become a substitute for knowing and worshipping Him), God knows it. He does not want us to have divided hearts, and He longs for us to be spared the eventual pain that comes with focusing our lives too much on temporary pleasures or things or human relationships without seeking Him first. Since He knows our hearts and fully understands our spiritual struggles, it does no good to try to fool God with a “show” of worship. He is not fooled. We are only fooling ourselves, and we are falling into the trap of settling for less of God than He wants to give.

All to Jesus I surrender...

All to Jesus I surrender…

Secondly, we need to realize what God’s true nature is in relation to us, His children.  Jesus said that God is a giver who desires to give good gifts to His children. (Matthew 7:11)  We can never out-give God, and yet we try to hold part of ourselves back from relationship to Him, thinking that we don’t want to lose our identity. However, it is only when we are able to let go and give ourselves fully to God that He can show us what abundant life means.  He can then show us our true identity in Him (who He made us to be).  When we begin to understand the revelation of what God will do through us as we surrender to Him, we can begin the process of fully becoming every part of the whole of our true identity.  This is why Jesus said that He that tries to keep his life will lose it. While we won’t lose our salvation if we never fully surrender to God, we will lose the eternal impact that our lives were meant to have. We will lose the fullest meaning and purpose that our lives could have had. We will also lose out on abundant life.

Surrender handsThirdly, we have to get real.  It is only when we are willing to be real and honest with God (and even tell Him about our struggles to surrender fully to Him) that He can begin to work with the truth that we have accepted about ourselves and begin to teach us the joys of a life that is being transformed from the inside out. When we trust God with the truth (that He already knows) and come to Him with real desire to move forward in becoming like Christ, even though we know that we have a long way to go in that journey, that desire to bring God glory with our lives by becoming more like Christ is true worship. Our lives become the intentional expression of our desire to bring God glory through recognizing His infinite worth.* We then choose to allow God to fill us with His spiritual life as we continually surrender our mess to Him. That process is living Romans 12:1-2, our reasonable service of worship. That is living in an authentic relationship with God, worshipping Him in truth, as we continue to give Him our mess and allow Him to make our lives a message of God’s glory through a transformed life.

Romans 12

New International Version (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 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.

KEY E:  GOD  AND  JESUS  LEAD  THE  WAY  IN  SACRIFICIAL  GIVING

Remember these truths:

God is not asking us to do anything that He himself has not already done! 
He gave Himself. 

At a time when we were all takers, He gave.
We continue to take, and He continues to give.

Only true worship breaks the “cycle of taking” in our lives,
As we seek to give Him glory in all of life through living a life of worship.

Restating and expanding upon Key E:
When we worship God, we become part of an endless (eternal) cycle of giving which God began, which He continues in every moment, which He will continue throughout eternity, and of which He is always a part. 
(even when we are not in giving mode)

(i)  God began the giving.

1 Peter 1:20
“He (Jesus) was chosen (as our Redeemer, whose live would be given for all) before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.”

John 3;16 (NLT)  “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

(ii)  God continues to give in every moment of time.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  – James 1:17
(Note that God’s nature is that of a giver and that He does not change!)

22The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”…  – Lamentations 3:22 – 24

(iii)  God will continue giving throughout all eternity.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”  – I Corinthians 2:9

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”  – Revelation 21:23

(iv)  God is always a part of an eternal cycle of giving. 

“If you then, imperfect as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  – Matthew 7:11 (WNT)

Therefore…

Key F:  WORSHIP  IS  ABOUT  GIVING  OURSELVES  TO  A  LOVING  GOD  WHO  HAS  GIVEN  HIMSELF  FOR  US  AND  WILL  CONTINUE  TO  GIVE  THROUGHOUT  ALL  OF  ETERNITY.

God givesMany people don’t realize that the pervasive attitude of consumerism in society has leached into our mindsets about worship.  If we view worship as something that should be done only on Sundays and only during a corporate worship service, we have not understood the concept of lifestyle worship (worshiping God through the way that we live our lives by seeking to give Him glory in all that we do and all that we are becoming).  If we view worship from the standpoint of how much we are “getting out of it”, then we misunderstand worship completely.  Worship is not about the occasional obligatory 25 minutes of singing that some just endure during a church worship service.  Worship is also not about consuming a commodity.  It is not a cheeseburger or a steak.  It is not about your musical preferences or mine.  It is not about seeing and being seen.  Worship is not something that we do in order to check all of the spiritual boxes.

Instead, worship can become our natural state of being as we learn more and more about our merciful God, our victorious Savior, and our ever-present guide and helper, God’s indwelling and holy Spirit (then choosing to respond to all that He is with all that we are).

THE  KEY  TRUTH:  Worship is about giving.

Giving in daily life…

Lift up His name!

Lift up His name!

If we understand that worship is about giving, we can choose to live with an attitude of true worship (though none of us can accomplish it perfectly in this life).  We can seek to continually express God’s infinite worth* through living in such a way that every part of our lives ultimately brings Him glory.  This is something that we cannot do in our own strength.  In order to continue the process of becoming like Christ as we seek to live a live that brings God glory, we need God’s help in many ways.  He gives us guidance and strength through His word, through His presence, and through dwelling within us in Spirit.  Even as we are sseking to give worship to God through living “as unto the Lord and not unto men”,  He continues to give

Living in an attitude of worship, presenting our selves unto the Lord as a living sacrifice, is our “reasonable service of worship”.  (Romans 12:1 & 2) 

To state this truth in another way.  because of all that God has done, is continuing to do, and will do throughout all of eternity, we choose moment by moment to live in such a way that our lives bring glory to God, even in the small, everyday things.

“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)

“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)

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

“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

“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

Giving in times of corporate worship

Worship from the heart

Worship from the heart

If we understand that worship is about giving, then we can come to a corporate worship service with a heart that is ready to give!  Whether things in our lives seem to be going well or whether we are struggling or dealing with many trials, the fact remains that both a private worship time and times of corporate worship are about giving.  Even when the cares of life are weighing us down, we can be honest in prayer and tell God that we are feeling drained and exhausted and worn to a frazzle.  He already knows everything we are facing and everything we are feeling anyway, so we are simply coming into agreement with the truth when we admit our status before Him.  Then, we can choose to give the sacrifice of praise by making a symbolic mental, emotional, and spiritual exchange.  We give our burdens to God and exchange the spirit of heaviness that had been pressing the life right out of us for that lovely garment of praise.

When we lift up the Lord, He lifts us up, too!  We can never out-give God because He is constantly giving more and more.  There will always be an infinite number of reasons to praise Him.  When we come into a time of corporate worship ready to give the Lord praise, honor, exaltation, blessing, surrender, our lives and hearts, our focus, our struggles, our longings, and our raw need for God and for all that He is to be reflected in our lives, He will meet us right where we are and complete the cirlcle of giving (of which He is always a part).

WHAT  ARE  WE  SUPPOSED  TO  GIVE?

1.  We are to give 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.  We are to give God GLORY!

give God the glory(or, glorify Him)

* 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.  We are to give 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.”

blessed is the Lord God4.  We are to give God BLESSING.  (Bless the Lord, bless the name of the Lord)

* 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.  We are to give Him EXALTATION!*  (or exalt Him, exalt His name)

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 in His triumph.)  — same source

6.  We are to give 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.”

Worship by giving God all of you7.  We are to give 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.”

* Phillippians 3:3   “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

8.  We are to give Him our songs (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.”   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.  We are to give 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.”

Honor the Lord10.  We are to give 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.”

Just as we would honor a guest in our home by seeking to serve our best meal and prepare diligently so that all will be able to enjoy the best time of fellowship, we choose to give unto the Lord the best of all that we are and all that we have for His honor.   We honor the Lord by giving, just as He has chosen to honor us by seeking fellowship with us and reaching out to us through the gift of His very best.

11.  We are to give 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 heart12.  We are to give Him OUR WHOLE HEART AND LIFE!

* I Chronicles 28:9   “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.”

* 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.”

The Final KEY TRUTH:

 THERE  IS  NO  SUBSTITUTE  FOR  CORPORATE  WORSHIP  WITH  GOD’S  PEOPLE.

worship is whereIt is wonderful to have a personal understanding of worship that aligns with what scripture teaches, and it is vitally important that every Christian also begins to follow through and move forward from having knowledge about worship to actually putting into practice the truths that we have learned.  In other words, each of us must begin to view ourselves as not only a child of God, servant of God, and disciple of Christ but also as a worshipper.  The Bible tells us that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Through worship, we are seeking more than just answered prayers and strength or comfort.  We are actually seeking to bless the heart of God with our own desire to give Him glory.  In choosing to live all of life with an attitude of worship, we are seeking to choose in every moment to do, say, and think in a God-honoring way.  Again, we will fall short, but our effort and our heart for God will not escape His notice.  He will meet with us in those moments of focused worship, and He will bless our efforts to bring Him glory through living in an attitude of worship.

Personal worship and living a lifestyle of worship are wonderful and essential to the life of every growing Christian, but those two elements of growth as a worshipper are not enough without regular corporate worship times with your church family.  Times of worship with the body of Christ are essential for the body and for the individuals who make up the body.  Here is what the Bible says about our need for corporate worship:

“We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.”  – Hebrews 10:25 (God’s Word translation)

Seeing the scripture within the context of other verses, consider the application for such a time as this:

A Call to Persevere
23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.…

Restated:  In order to persevere in our faith, we must not waver in our commitment to be a part of the body of Christ and to worship with the body of Christ.  We must hold on with all of our might to the certain hope we have been given, recognizing God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises.  We must encourage one another and work together to love each other within the church fellowship and to demonstrate the love of Christ to the world.  We must serve together, doing what is good in helping others both inside and outside of the church, in the name of Jesus.  We must learn and grow spiritually through the process of study and sharing testimonies of God’s faithfulness and proclamation of the Word.

And, we should remember that all of these things (corporate worship and all of the loving, serving, discipleship, and fellowship through the body) that can only be done by continuing to meet, worship, fellowship, and serve together as a body become even more important as time moves closer and closer to the return of Christ.

You and I cannot be who we need to be as Christians if we forsake meeting togther. 

If we are going to live in a way that honors and reverences the blood of Christ which sanctifies us, the passage goes on to say, we must demonstrate our love and commitment to the Lord through loving His body, the church, and meeting together with other believers for the primary purpose of worship and for discipleship, fellowship, outreach / missions, and service.  Verse 26 even refers back to the mention of forsaking meeting together and calls such practice “deliberate sin’, going on to talk about God’s judgement for those who have “spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the convenant, and outraged the Spirit of Grace” (vs. 29).  God does not take it lightly when those who know Him (and whom Jesus died to save) reject His body, the church.

Remember that we (Christians who make up the body of Christ) are all in the process of growing to be more Christlike, and we are all in different stages of spiritual growth.  Sometimes other Christians will disappoint or even hurt us.  We need to extend the same grace that we have been given to our fellow believers.  They may not have yet reached the point of conviction about something that they have done or are doing that is wrong or has been hurtful (sometimes unintentionally) to the body.  However, we can choose to demonstrate the love of Christ and the grace and mercy of God to them, knowing that love always hopes, always believes, and always trusts You may not be able to trust an individual, but you can trust the God who is at work in your heart and in theirs.

We are a family of brothers and sisters in Christ, and the same principles of forgiveness, moving forward, and talking through problems that you follow with your own family must also be followed with your spiritual family.  This is one of the ways that we encourage one another to good works (one of the reasons given for not forsaking the assembling together of God’s family).  Forgiveness and reconciliation, resulting in spiritual growth for both parties and in greater harmony within the body, are good works!   Don’t allow your “right” to nurse a grudge or hang on to a hurt or misunderstanding to cause you to sin against the blood of Christ.

Remember, there is no substitute for worshipping together with other believers.

May God bless you as you seek to worship Him both personally and corporately, living a life that brings Him glory and discovering that relating to God as a 24/7 worshipper is the missing piece that you have longed to find.

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.”

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* John Piper’s definition of worship. paraphrased.
This definition is found in the devotion titled  ”Bodies, Breakfast, and the Marriage Bed”  and subtitled  “A Meditation on Daily Worship”.
You can read the complete devotion at this link:  http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/bodies-breakfast-and-the-marriage-bed

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd

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You may want to read some of our other posts and pages about 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!”

Music is a gift…Worship the Giver!

Worship Planning and Preparation

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For further reading, here is a link to an article called,

“What is Worship?
A Survey of Scripture”

http://www.gci.org/God/worship

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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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WORSHIP is Joy!

We all meet together at the foot of the cross, leaving behind anything that would hinder the worship of Almighty God.

What a privelege and joy it is to be part of something that is older than the earth itself!  According to the book of Job, the heavenly hosts were engaged in worship of the Living God long before the creation of our solar system.  (Job 38)  In the book of Revelation, we are given vivid descriptions of worship that is going on in heaven even now.  (Rev. 4 & 5)  When something significant happened to Biblical characters, their first thought was to build an altar and worship the Lord.

When the armies of Israel were to go forth in battle, they were always lead by a group of worship leaders.  Have you ever wondered why?  It is because they recognized that they were powerless without God’s help.  They knew that if they acknowledged God as their strength, He would bring them victory.  Any time they got away from this truth, they suffered great defeats.  It is no different [for God’s people] today.  In order for God to empower and strengthen us, we must acknowledge His all-consuming greatness and submit to Him as our Creator and our Redeemer.  We must have the walls of pride and self-sufficiency come down in order to experience God’s full power in our lives and in the life of our church.

When the church gathers for a time of worship, we are all given an opportunity to experience God’s power within a community of fellow believers.  Jesus spoke of the power of believers being physically and spiritually together (Matthew 18:20).  This is so important for the health of our spiritual lives and for the work of the  church.  Nothing else can substitute for being a part of a corporate worship experience.   Truly, the most foundational part of the Christian experience is worship of the Living God!  Believers need to rediscover the joy of worshipping the Lord with the church family.  True worship is a life-changing experience (that becomes a life style) of recognizing and expressing God’s worth.  He is worthy of our worship and praise!

“Let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy!  Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him who rides upon the clouds; His name is the Lord, exult before Him!”   Psalm 68:3 & 4

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This post was written by Travis L. Boyd and is adapted from his article, “Worship is Joy!”  in the April 8, 2010, edition of The First Word, the church newsletter of First Baptist Church of Duluth, Georgia.

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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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