Last week I was asked (perhaps more like roped into) speaking at our Coast Hills Creative Community. We hold these about once a quarter and invite everyone who is involved with the weekend service; band, tech, drama, photographers, hospitality, artists, etc. It’s always a great night getting to hang out with the whole team. According to the run sheet (yeah, we have a run sheet, we’re still planners after all...), my segment was the “Inspirational Message.” After plenty of prayer and Bible study, this is the short version of what I came up with.
And I have to tip my hat to my friend Van Metschke for putting this phrase in my head. The student ministries team at South Hills signs there e-mails with "We get to do this," and it's really stuck with me.
We are all called to Worship God.
- Psalm 99:5 Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.
- Psalm 96:9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
- Psalm 100:2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
- Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
- Psalm 132:7 “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool”
- Psalm 95:6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
The Bible is full of references just like that. Clearly we were made to be in a worshiping relationship with God, our creator.
Bad things happen when people don’t worship God.
So Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor. And the Lord's anger burned against them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the Lord's fierce anger may turn away from Israel.”
Numbers 25:2-3 MSG
People worship all kinds of things besides God today; cars, houses, jobs, money, spouses. Those things are not evil in and of themselves, but when we set them up as gods, it becomes a real problem.
When we call people to worship God, we may be saving their lives.
That sounds like it might be an overstatement, but I’m not sure it is. Certainly from an eternal perspective, it’s true. When people don’t worship God, they are worshipping something else. And that something else is bound to disappoint. When it does, they seek something else, or find themselves very empty.
What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
Romans 1:21-23 MSG
Worship happens throughout our lives, and in the corporate singing of praise.
Years ago, a worship pastor once told me that the weekend should be a celebration of the worship that’s taken place in our lives all week long. Worship should be how we live our lives. Worship the way we love and serve others. Worship is the giving of our time, talent and treasure. Worship is doing what God has called us to do, whether that’s working at a church, working in the corporate world, raising your children, or going to school. When we live our lives in obedience to Christ, we are worshiping God. And when we come together as a body on the weekend to engage in corporate worship, something special happens.
The hurting find rest and solace.
The broken to find restoration.
Those who are in a good place get to celebrate what God is doing in their lives.
It is a glorious thing!
Not everyone gets to lead God’s people into worship.
Everyone is called to worship, but not everyone gets to be part of the worship leading team. We do! How cool is that!?
In OT times, only the Levites could lead corporate worship. And to join that team, you had to be born into it. If your name didn’t end in Levi, you may as well not finish filling out the application. Today, we can be called into it. That’s pretty significant! And make no mistake, if you are involved in the weekend service production in anyway, you are called to be part of the worship leading team. We all do that in different ways, but each part is important.
We create an atmosphere of worship.
When I talk with our team and other TDs and churches about the role of the worship team on a weekend, I use the phrase “Creating and atmosphere of worship” a lot. It’s what I believe we do. We can’t make people worship, but we can create an atmosphere that is conducive to the worship experience. How many times have you gone to church as an regular congregant and just had a million things on your mind?
What we do is create a place where all those things can be set aside and people can commune with God.
We get to do that!
We come together and offer up our collective talents, gifts and abilities to God and He makes something wonderful of that in people’s lives.
We get to do that!
Our worship pastor said a few months ago that we incite people to worship. We are that spark, that catalyst that can cause someone to move from not considering God as part of their lives to worshiping Him.
We get to do that!
Everyone’s part is important.
The lighting guy sets the mode with illumination levels.
The sound guy makes sure the band and vocalists are heard.
The presentation gal make sure we all know what words to sing.
The band and vocalists draw people into song.
The camera team gets to bring that experience to our satellite campus otherwise known as the balcony.
The photography team preserves those experiences for the future.
The hospitality team makes sure the band and tech team are well-fed and energized. As a side note, don’t ever minimize the value of that. Musicians and tech people (especially tech people) get cranky when hungry. Your role is vital!
Corporate worship can change people’s lives
I had a worship experience some years back that changed my life. After working way too hard for way too long at my church, I attended with Willow Arts Conference. Standing and singing “O Praise HIm” with 7,000 others on Wednesday night changed how I do ministry. That conference caused me to re-think my schedule which I believe kept me from leaving the ministry altogether.
Is there a better calling?
But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship
We get to do this!