Corporate Worship

This is a subject that I have been thinking much about recently. I am not a music minister or a worship leader, though I love music and play in our church’s services as part of a worship team/band. I have convictions about the seriousness and theology of worship, so maybe there might be a little worship leader inside saying “this is how it should be,” but its not my calling. (I do believe too often people make a distinction between preaching and worship; as a preacher, I believe preaching is an extension of Christ-exalting worship, anyway..). Worship. There is so much to say; I will try to be brief. Worship is not about you. Its not about your taste in music, whether you like the piano or dislike the guitars because “they’re too loud.” It isn’t about big auditoriums or small church houses. It’s not about the people on the stage or the lights. It’s not even about the music and the instrumentation. It is all about Christ. Of course, we want good-sounding instrumentation and vocalists who can sing but that isn’t our focus.

People aren’t starved for big productions in corporate worship. They are starved to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. God can use those big worship productions but He doesn’t need them nor requires them. It’s all about genuine, honest Christ-exalting worship. Let’s start here: praise and worship of God is not a choice we make. It is a mandate God has placed upon all people. This is undeniably true for the church. Also, allow me to help your definition of worship. God didn’t send His Son for worship in the form of Sunday singing, alone. True worship involves this corporate aspect but it involves every aspect of our lives. That is the kind of worship God is after. Our lives are a witness to Christ and we should be praising Him and rejoicing in the redemption Christ has provided for us every minute of every day. He is worthy of all of our praise in all situations, every day of the week, not just on Sunday mornings.

Bob Kauflin, a well-respected songwriter and worship leader, said “the heart of biblical worship is the exaltation of Jesus Christ, and his death on the cross.” Since Christ is our focus, the people up on stage are not, but our praise is. In regards to how we exalt Christ we must realize: The most important sound in corporate worship of the Lord is the human voice that is saturated with Christ-exalting praise, not loud instruments. In Scripture, particularly throughout the Psalms, instrumentation is mentioned and it is so in the New Testament. But the consistent medium of worship is the human voice, that is one reason why the kind of worship music (contemporary, traditional or blended) one has is secondary to the attitude of worship. People shouldn’t leave corporate worship services and say “what a great band.” They should say “what a great Savior.” It’s about Him, not us.

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