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 ‘giving’

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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You Have a Lot to Give!

His mercies are new every morning!

What does it take to make a real and lasting difference in this world?  I believe that there are three key elements to living a life for Christ that has eternal impact.

1.  A love for your Lord and Savior and a desire to bring Him glory.

2.  A deep compassion for your fellow man.

3.  A willingness to do whatever it takes to fulfill the callings that you discover as the Lord leads you in using the abilities and resources that He has given to you.

I believe that these three factors are most important for several reasons.  First, in order for what we do and say as we live to have a lasting (eternal) impact, there must be a spiritual element involved.  In other words, the task must be something which we believe to be our calling at that moment; and, we must have a strong desire to glorify the Lord in doing what He has called us to do.  Whether our calling is teaching a Sunday School class, building or repairing structures on a mission trip, responding with kindness to people who come across your path, being the most effective worker you can be at your job, preparing a meal, helping someone directly, or singing in the choir, all that we do is important when we do it as to the Lord and not unto men.  It we are not relating, serving, and working to glorify the Lord, then our lesser motivation will limit the effectiveness of our endeavors.  Living to bring glory to God is true, lifestyle worship, and it is our purpose for being.  (Romans 12:1 & 2)

Secondly, another key element of our motivation should be our love and concern for others, which flows out of our relationship with the Lord.  People can tell when we really care about them.  Any deeds or words that are accompanied by compassion will be used by the Lord to make an impact far greater than physical help or an emotional lift alone could make apart from that God-given compassion.  What we are able to share becomes a far greater message that speaks to the hearts of people.  The message given by acts or words of compassion accompanied by the Love of God is that we care and love people because God cares and loves them.  This lets people know that God has initiated a response to their need because He loves them and has sent an instrument of caring to them in order to demonstrate His love.

Finally, our most excellent effort is called for in whatever we are doing.  When we live our lives to glorify the Lord, it becomes our desire to really make our lives count for His Kingdom.  However, we must remember that our job is to do our best with God’s help.  He will take our efforts, indwell them with His own Spirit at work in the world, amd multiply what we are able to do or say in ways we may not expect or ever know about while on the earth.  We are not responsible for the results.  We are responsible for our love for God, our response to Jesus (repentence leading to salvation), our attitude and our growth, and giving our best.  He will take all that each of us have to give and use it to accomplish His purpose in our lives and the lives of others.

So, don’t worry about which gifts you have or wish you had or about what the results of your efforts will be.  Those things are all in God’s hands,  Whatever your circumstances, you have a LOT  to give!  Your heart, your life, your compassion, your willingness, your obedience, your encouragement, your prayers, your hopes, and your efforts to allow God to work in and through your life are the best and most important ways that you have a lot to give to make a difference in this world.  Everyone can give these things!  From a prison cell, a hospital bed, a home full of pre-schoolers, a teacher’s desk, a business, a career position, and from every life circumstance, these gifts can flow!  You have a lot to give!   Blessings and encouragement to you as you do just that!

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– post written by Cynthia A. Boyd

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WORSHIP…it’s all about Giving!

The one true God,
the Creator of all that is,
has given to us everything that we have ever known.

Our lives,
our very breath,
our families,
our gifts and talents,
our earthly home,
sunshine and rain,
all of creation,
the capacity to love and be loved,
our minds and bodies,
our eternal souls,
His great love and mercy,
salvation,
and even His only Son

… all these are given to us from the hand of God the Father, the maker of Heaven and Earth.   What do we have that we can give to him?   Can any gift from the created ones be of value to the Creator of all that is?   After all, what do you give to the One who has absolutely everything?

God has shown us His eternal and pure love through the giving of all that He is. 
He has given us His message, the Word, both in the form of the scriptures and in the form of the Living Word, Jesus;  He has given His creativity, order, power, brilliance and majesty in Creation; He has given His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and patience in allowing us to choose whether to love and serve Him.  He has given us new life and purpose and an eternal home in Heaven through the gift of salvation.   He has given us His only Son, the most precious gift ever given, when we, as the recipients of this gift, were lost in sin and ugliness and the filth of selfishness.

As we think about the giving and loving nature of God, it follows that if God is our model for giving, there are certain facts that are always evident about the kinds of gifts that truly make a difference.

First of all, His giving is sacrificial to an extent that we are unable to fully comprehend.

Secondly, His giving always has our best interests at heart.

 Thirdly, God is ever present in His giving.

*  He gave us the earth as our temporary home, but he sustains it so that this life can continue according to His plan

*  He gave us himself in the person of His Son, God with us, Emmanuel.

*  He gives us salvation and comes to live within us.

With every gift, God also gives Himself.  If we are to give a gift that has meaning and value to Him, we must also be very present in the giving, not just for a moment in time but for a lifetime.  Though none of us will be able to perfectly fulfill the goal of giving our all to the Lord, we must press on and continue, with God’s help, to focus upon Him and diligently seek Him, striving to grow in our relationship with Him and to surrender all that we are to Him day by day and moment by moment.

What does the Bible have to say about our giving and how we must be present in the gift, in other words, giving ourselves? 

From Romans 12:1 & 2, the meaning is abundantly clear:

“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.”

Because of God’s mercy, we know that He is good.  Our response to His goodness (as it has been revealed through His choice to show mercy) should then be (according to this scripture) our true and proper
(in some translations, “reasonable”) worship:
the giving of ourselves.

This is to be a sacrificial gift, and yet we are allowed to continue living this earthly life.  We become living sacrifices, giving up our own will for His good, pleasing, and perfect will.  We allow Him to transform us through His Spirit.  As our mind is renewed, we gain some level of understanding of His purpose and His will for our lives.  As we give ourselves to Him, all that we are is changed and made new.  (II Corinthians 5:17  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”)  This new, spirit life within us causes us to want to live in a manner that brings honor and glory to the Lord, and this desire changes the focus of our lives.  We are no longer focused exclusively upon self and the world as it relates to our selves.  Instead, we begin to become aware that all that we think, say, and do has eternal importance.  Though we will never achieve perfection in this earthly life, we still seek to give to the Lord an intentional living sacrifice with every choice that we make.  We have the power of God through his Holy Spirit within us to help us follow through with our commitment to live for God’s glory, so we do not have to strive in our own strength.  We are to live as to the Lord, and not unto men.  (See Colossians 3:23 & 24)

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 living 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!

CORPORATE  WORSHIP  AND  GIVING…

What about when we come together to worship the Lord?   How will we give to Him a time of focused worship that is meaningful and reverent, joyful and celebratory, and based upon what we read in the Bible about the types of giving that should characterize a gathering of God’s people for the purpose of worshipping Him together?  What are some of the Biblical references that could be applied to our efforts to give of ourselves to the Lord through worship?

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!

(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.”

4.  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.”

Lift up His name!

7.  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.”

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.”   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.”

10.  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.

Psalm 8:3 – 5  

When I consider Your heavens,

the work of Your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which You have set in place,

what is man that You are mindful of him,

the son of man that You care for him?

You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beingsc

and crowned him with glory and honor.”

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 heart

12.  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.”

* 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.”

In demonstration of His infinite love for us, God continues to give.
In response to our efforts to give, He gives again in return.  It is impossible to give more of ourselves that He gives of Himself.  For God and for Jesus, demonstrating perfect love for us has been, is now, and will always be about giving.  For us, in giving 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.  Again, he responds with more giving.  He gives His presence in response to true worship, and all Heaven breaks loose!  The Bible is full of promises for those who will give to the Lord their all.
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…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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Understanding Worship

“I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify Thy name forevermore.” Psalm 86:12

How can we recognize authentic worship, and how can we make sure that we as individuals are authentic in worshipping our Almighty God?

 *  Is there a particular style or form of worship that is more authentic than any other?
*  Is there something that can be measured or seen in authentic worship?  

What is the focus of authentic worship, and what should be our understanding of what the word ‘worship’ really means?

Most importantly, HOW can our church experience the kind of dynamic worship that blows the doors off of our church buildings by spilling over and flooding into our daily lives and thereby impacting the community around us?

Perhaps, we need to look for the answer to this question:  “What did Jesus say about true worship?”

Jesus said that true worshippers will worship God in Spirit and in truth and that God seeks such worshippers (John 4:23 & 24).

What does it mean to worship God in Spirit and in truth?

The answer to this very important question often eludes God’s people, and sometimes there is very little attention given to the subject.   In over 35 years of active church life, since the time of our salvation, in the churches where Travis and I have served, we’ve heard very few sermons and Bible studies that specifically addressed the topic of worship in depth.  This topic may not be neglected in every congregation, but years of ministry have shown us that God’s people often have a lack of knowledge about true worship.  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!  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.  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.  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.   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.  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.

That is worship.

Okay, so we’re supposed to give.  What happens when we come to a worship service without being ready to give?   There are a couple of scenarios.

A.  Sometimes we may feel that we have nothing to give.  God does not want our perfection…we have none.  He does not want us to pretend to feel anything other than what we feel.  If we are feeling lonely or sad, He wants us to confess that and give it to Him.  If we are struggling with trusting Him, He wants us to admit the struggle and ask Him to give us a heart of praise in the midst of it.  Whatever our burden may be, he wants us to lay it down and to exchange it for the garment of praise.  When we realize our need to be clothed with praise, intentionally seeking to give God glory in spite of circumstances, He can work in our hearts and lives in spite of any areas where we fall short of His will for us.  He meets us right where we are and continues to give the gifts of His presence, comfort, peace, assurance, gifts of the Spirit, and even quickens (wakes up and brings to life) His Spirit within us, enabling us to give and to worship.  Imagine what could happen when a whole congregations chooses the mindset of focusing on our Great God rather than on our problems, our faults, or the faults of others!  Wow!  That would be amazing!

B.  In contrast to this scenario, consider what happens when we sit down in the worship center and are not even aware that we could be bringing to God the offerings of praise, worship, our hearts and lives, exaltation, thanksgiving, and more through everything that takes place during the worship service (not just the singing!) ?   If we are not only unaware of our need to give Him praise but also unwilling to view the worship experience as one of giving, our focus is on self and ‘the Lord as He relates to me.’  Unfortunately, the end result of this approach is lifeless worship, selfish attitudes, and division within the fellowship.  If someone were to ask what we were doing, our response might be that we are giving God praise.  But unless we are truly praising God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and focusing on Him alone as though He were right there in the room with us (He is!), our words are nothing more that lip service.

True worship unites our hearts, because we all share a common focus…on Him!

Matthew 18:20 tells us that Jesus will be in our midst when we gather in His name!  Only as we lay aside every earthly attitude that would hinder true worship and put all of our focus on Him can we say that we are gathered in His name.  Without the presence of God, there is no power in worship.  The power comes from Him, not from us or from any specific forms of worship.  Whatever form our corporate worship service takes, if the people of God are not focused on bringing Him glory, then it is not really worship.

If I were a cartoonist, I would illustrate this post with some very meaningful cartoons.  These cartoons would depict how a fundamental misunderstanding of worship has resulted in a self-focus that is very harmful to the fellowship of the church.  The idea that the form or worship is the most important thing and the resulting attitude and fellowship problems can be well illustrated by several imaginary situations.

The Birthday Party
The first cartoon would picture a child’s birthday party where all of the guests have come wearing party hats with various slogans.  One hat pictures a chocolate ice cream cone with the slogan, “Just Say NO to Vanilla!”   Another hat says, “Bigger goody bags!”  Still another says, “More cake!”   You get the picture.  Unfortunately, the party guests would seem to have forgotten that the party is not about them and their preferences.  The purpose of the party is to celebrate and honor the birthday boy (or girl).   From experience as a party guest, I can testify that when one attends the party with the attitude that the party is for the honoree and that everyone wishes to contribute to the celebration of said person’s life, a guest can still have a great time and also the wonderful feeling of knowing that you helped someone you love have a really special moment in time.  There is joy in the giving because of  love!  Remember that God so loved that He gave!

Who is the guest of honor?

Who is the guest of honor?

God’s Sign
My second cartoon illustration would picture a congregation sitting in the pews, waiting for the service of worship to begin.  Several of the congregants are holding signs.  One sign says, “More hymns!”.   Another, “More worship songs!”, and still another, “More Southern Gospel”.  Other signs read, “More drums!’ and “Bigger choir!”   The second frame of this cartoon would show the platform area of the worship center.  Suddenly, a large cloud has appeared, hovering directly over the platform.  This is clearly not a normal cloud, for it is seemingly illuminated from within.   The third frame would show the startled looks on the faces of all of the members and ministers.  One person asks, “What in the world is that?”  In the fourth frame, an answer is given.  From the bottom of the cloud, a sign drops down with a 2 word message from God:  “More worship!”

Would we be worrying about our preferences if we could see Him?

Would we be worrying about our preferences if we could see Him?

In the Same Room
My third cartoon would again show a congregation in the pews (or chairs), with one very important difference.   This congregation is very visibly divided.  There are soundproof glass walls that extend all the way to the ceiling of the worship center and divide the seating area into sections.   Each seating area has it’s own mini platform in front, with a sign indicating the style of worship music that will take place in each section.  One section, labeled “Christian Rock”, has a full rock band set up, with lighting effects.  Another, labeled “Traditional Worship,”  has a choir and orchestra, and a piano and organ.   Another section, labeled “Southern Gospel,”  has a quartet warmed up and ready to sing.  Finally, the fourth section, labeled “Praise and Worship,”  has a praise band and praise team, a celebration choir, banners proclaiming God’s glory, and an incredible media set-up.   In the cartoon frame, a greeter has escorted a guest into the worship center.  As the guest takes in the scene, the greeter says, “Well, at least we’re still worshipping together!”   (Ouch!  Not really!)

[Note:  Remember that being together with our brothers and sisters in Christ is fellowship.  Worshipping together is divine communion.]

Techno Church
The fourth cartoon is unfortunately a really sad commentary and could take place not too far into the future.   In the first frame of the cartoon, each person in the worship center is wearing headphones and sitting in front of a screen.  You see, there is no longer enough unity to truly worship together, so the church of the future has settled for being in the same building at the same time.  Each individual controls their own “worship mix.”   At their personal computer screen, each person chooses which song videos they will see and hear on their screens and through their headphones.  They determine the style of the songs, which songs are sung, and even choose which group will perform them from a pre-recorded video menu.  Then, they can even choose their own sermon and preacher.  The middle frame shows everyone concentrating on their individual screens, isolated from fellow church members with their headphones and their individual worship service mix.  In the final frame, congregants begin to leave the worship center, having finished their ‘service’.  One shakes hands with another and says, “It was great to worship with you today.”   (Double ouch!)

I hope and pray that these last 2 cartoon depictions from my head don’t become reality!  We must begin to teach and preach and proclaim that true worship is about giving!   We’ll continue right down the slippery slope of demanding our own way and failing to extend any grace to other believers if we don’t begin to shout this message from the rooftops!  It’s not about me!  It’s not about you!  It’s not about one age group or another!  It’s not about a preferred musical style or your own particular list of favorite songs.  It’s not about formality or informality.  It’s not the style or cost of our clothing.

Worship is about Him!  It’s about giving God glory in every area of life, and corporately giving Him glory, honor, blessing, exaltation, thanksgiving, praise, and our whole hearts when we meet together to worship!  That, dear reader, is true worship!

Please, feel free to share this blog post with everyone you can think of!  God help us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth!

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd, with full responsibility and no apologies for its content.

Lord, please use the foolishness of bold words to draw hearts to yourself!

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There are several additional posts about worship on our blog.  Read the following posts and pages for additional perspective, practical ideas, and inspiration:

1.  “Lifestyle Worship”  (page focusing on giving God glory in all of life)   https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lifestyle-worship/

2.  “Creative Worship Ideas”  (page, self-explanatory)  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/creative-worship-ideas/

3.  “Worship ABC’s”   (good as a reminder or even for a dramatic or media presentation in worship)  post published Nov. 7, 2011  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/worship-abcs/

4.  “Worship Planning and Preparation”  (a comprehensive guide, with lots of inspiration and things to consider)  post published Jan. 26, 2012   http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/worship-planning-and-preparation/

5.  “Worship is Joy!”   (post focusing on the joy of giving God praise when we worship Him for who He is)   post published 1-31-2012   http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/worship-is-joy/

6.  Music is a gift…Worship the Giver!  (self-explanatory, very thought-provoking)

7.  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/worship-its-all-about-giving-2/   Our best post on what worship really is, with every point sharing solid scriptural truth.

In addition, our page entitled “Lift Your Voice” is an extensive resource page for worship related scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments.  Check it out at http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lift-your-voice/

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Here’s a link to a great article on the subject of worship and preference and what the REAL worship war is all about, written by Stephen Miller and published by the online mag Relevant Magazine.

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/modern-worship-music-wars

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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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