Created to Praise

Just me being me the way He made me

How Does Worship “Speak?” March 13, 2008

Filed under: Thoughts on Worship,worship,Worship Leader — 6kids1me @ 1:42 pm

Yesterday, I read an interesting quote here… and commented on it.  An interesting discussion about worship music started between the readers of that post and I have enjoyed reading the comments.  Then the blog auther, the original poster, asked a question that I really had to think about.  As my answer was too lengthy to give as a comment, and because I thought you all might be interested as well, I decided to share it here.  Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts as well.  I’d love to know what you think on this subject.

The question is this:  “A few of you mentioned that contemporary worship “speaks to” people, “moves” them, or “reaches” them. Would you be interested in saying more about this? How does worship speak to us? How does it move us? And, is this what worship is supposed to do? Maybe another post should ask the basic question ‘what is worship?’”

Well, I could go on all day in answering that question, but I’ll try to keep it simple.  First, I reiterate my original comment which was that contemporary worship music was written for today’s generation.  The tried and true hymns that we all know and love aren’t reaching the new unchurched generation.  It’s just not.  So contemporary christian music is a powerful tool for reaching the lost and sharing the love of Christ with them.

Now I’d like to address how worship “speaks.”  I love music.  I enjoy most genres of music.  However, the lyrics of most genres usually make me cringe.  I have no desire to sing about cheating husbands and sex slaves.  Sorry, I just don’t.  But you give me a song that magnifies the Lord and lifts up His name and you can bet I’ll be singing it to the top of my lungs.  I delight in the Lord and I believe He delights in my praise.  So part of my answer is that worship music speaks what is already on my mind.  But there’s more…..

There have been times when I was driving down the road, listening to the radio, and a song came on that moved me so powerfully that I had to pull over on the side of the road.  The lyrics were “speaking” to the problem I was dealing with in my life at that time.  After my brother was killed in a car wreck, the song “I’ve Never Been More Homesick Than Now” by Mercy Me did that for me.  The lyrics spoke EXACTLY what my heart was groaning during that time.  These were emotions that I had no words for, but that song spoke them for me.  I could go down the whole laundry list of songs that have spoken to me this way, but that would take all day.

Also, as I stated in my first comment, the lyrics of most of today’s worship songs are taken directly from Scripture.  So when we sing them, we are singing the Word back to the Author.  This is good for me in two ways.  First, the Lord tells us to hide His Word in our hearts.  Well, I have a terrible memory.  However, I never forget a song.  What a powerful tool to use in keeping His Word in my mind at all times.  Second, and possibly most important, the Word is ALIVE and ACTIVE!  When I sing His Word back to Him, it’s changing me from the inside out.  It’s moving in my soul and causing things to happen.  That’s powerful!

Finally, to answer “what is worship.”  Gee, that’s a book, not a blog post.  lol  I guess essentially, worship is exhalting the Lord in all things.  It’s spending time with Him.  It’s singing His praise.  It’s doing all things with excellence.  It’s pouring out love on others the way He pours out His love on us.  It’s giving our best….and our worst….and saying, “Lord, it’s ALL Yours.  Every part of me.  You are amazing and beautiful and more than I could ever imagine.  I have nothing to give that’s of any worth compared to Who You are and what You’ve done.  But I give you myself.  Every part.  I’m completely Yours.”


2 Responses to “How Does Worship “Speak?””

  1. David Guion Says:

    Hi Becky,

    Great thoughts on this post – really appreciated reading your thoughts on how worship “speaks.”

    Music is such a “language of the heart” regardless of what culture or religion. It seems that God has wired every human being as a musical creature. There’s just something about tying a specific melody to an appropriate lyric that so consistently touches the human heart.

    For example, when Billy and Cindy Foote wrote the song, “You Are God Alone,'” the words and music really seemed to fit together – they build throughout the verses and chorus invoking an appropriate response of agreement and conviction. In this sense, I do believe that worship does indeed “speak.” I can’t imagine going through seasons of sorrow and grief (as you referenced in the death of your brother) without songs to help put expression to emotions which otherwise could remain “speechless.”

    That said, I do believe that one of the dangers that this coming generation is facing is equating “worship” primarily with “music.” (I commented on this over at back on February 21st.) “Worship” certainly includes both corporate and private musical expressions of praise but it also involves the way we live our lives daily before the Lord (and other human beings) in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    I recently read a forum post where John David Walt quoted James Torrance who said, “Worship is the gift of participating by the power of the Spirit in the incarnate Son’s communion with the Father.” Whoa! What if Worship Leaders started their service off this coming Sunday with a quote like that? (I’m not even sure what that definition really means much less whether I agree with it or not!)

    My point is (thanks Dave) that you’re right when you say, “worship is exhalting the Lord in all things. It’s spending time with Him. It’s singing His praise… It’s pouring out love on others the way He pours out His love on us.”

    I definitely believe that that is worship “speaking,” too.

    I’ll finish with this:

    I think one of the most challenging things that the late Keith Green said was, “I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy or to sell out more completely to Jesus!”

    Perhaps that’s why, even though he’s been in heaven since 1982, his songs of worship still “speak” so powerfully.

    Thanks again, Becky. Great blog.

    David Guion

  2. mtapie Says:

    Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. God bless you.

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