Sunday, December 20, 2009

O Come Let Us Adore Him

Since I grew up in church, and I have spent many years as a pastor and worship leader, I kind of think that I've seen it all.  I have worshiped in small, quiet chapels and in stadiums with up to 60,000 people.  I've sat all alone on the beach meditating on God's word, and I've sung and prayed at the top of my lungs while driving down a busy Interstate.  I have stood quietly with tears streaming down my cheeks as I contemplated God's goodness.  Sometimes, I just can't be still or quiet; God's grace is so overwhelming that the joy inside can only be expressed through jumping or dancing or running or clapping or lifting my hands.

As I said, I've been in church for quite a few years.  I've seen it all - and even participating in some of it!  During some of those years, I thought there was a right way and a wrong way to worship God.  I've even heard other ministers ridicule from the pulpit a worship style that was different from theirs.  I read books and heard sermons on the "worship war" - in fact, I think I even preached one myself. 

After all these years, I've come to this conclusion: God loves variety.  If you think one particular style is the only correct one, you probably should read the Book again.  If you can worship only when you're comfortable, you're probably not worshiping God in the first place.  It sounds more like you're worshiping yourself.  I think that's really the only worship war: the war over who we will worship.

Chris and I recently met with a member of my advisory team.  We discussed the kind of music we want to use at Transformation House, and I asked him about the worship at his church.  During the conversation, he said, "I don't think the style is what matters. What matters is that you give people an encounter with God during the worship time."  Exactly! 

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