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For an audience of one

April 2, 2007
Candle flame As Holy Week (the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday) has arrived the one top thought on my mind is what I can do to honor, praise, and worship God. I want not only this week, but my life to be focused on the answer to that question.

One of the places I always go when I think about this topic is to musical worship. While the door has not opened for me to be involved with worship leading where I am at right now, I have been involved with it before and I play several instruments. Currently I only play for my own enjoyment and time with God, but my love for quality worship continues to deepen and grow. Musical worship is one place I can get completely enveloped and lost. It is one of my greatest passions, and a strong connection point in my relationship with God.

One of keys I find in worship is to get myself out of the way. It is so easy for me to think about myself, how I physically feel, whether I want to sit or stand, if I like the beat of the music, if the tune is easy to sing to, etc. When I can get my eyes off of me and really focus on God I reach a point where I can truly step into a place to worship. Worship isn’t about the songs, the tune, the worship leader, or the people around you. Worship leaders do have the responsibility to guide and point you in the direction of worship, and they should be putting effort into choosing music that points people to God rather than just playing what is popular, but your worship of God is not their responsibility. They may provide an environment and the music, but ultimately worship is about our hearts and the choices we make. They should be playing/leading for an audience of one, and we should be praising and worshiping for that same one. Worship is about God, not us!

What can I do to honor, praise, and worship God? Music is just a small part of it, but learning how to worship deeply one song at a time has helped me learn to live a life of worship one minute at a time and move closer to God one step at a time.

(I try to stay up to date with some of the latest music, trends, and thoughts on worship and worship leading. Recently I have been visiting some sites on these topics. For those of you interested in worship here are a couple links I visited today with some great thoughts and comments from others. I really enjoyed the discussions about leading by God’s standards and how to evaluate the music you use. Should we be using these same methods to evaluate all the music we listen to? It would sure change what most of us hear!
Q&A Fridays – Why Don’t We Ever Sing This Song? http://www.worshipmatters.com/
Song of the Year http://www.challies.com/archives/002470.php )

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2007 11:24 am

    Great word thanks….

  2. 4given2 permalink
    April 3, 2007 4:25 pm

    Wow. Great post Sherrie. I love music in worship. in the church we are attending the worship leader begins singing songs and verses of songs not on the sheet we are given.

    I don’t know all the verses to songs or the verses to some songs that are sung. Then my wife and I feel left out, thinking the worship leader is in his own world worship.

    What do you think of this?

    We have stopped going to the singing/praise part of the service and now come in just before the Word is preached. Delany

  3. April 3, 2007 5:46 pm

    Delany, I am sorry to hear about this situation because it means you are missing out on a valuable part of the worship experience. It is typcially the time where the church family together presents our praises and selves to God and where we give him praise and honor. I am not saying that musical worship is the only way to present yourself back to God, but you are missing out on the opportunity of doing this in community if you are not comfortable attending that part of the service. Have you been able to lovingly share this with anyone on your church staff? Maybe they are just unaware of the situation and don’t realize it is causing someone to miss out on part of the service.

    Another interest of mine is leadership studies. My first thought in reading your post is that it sounds like your worship leader is doing a poor job of “leading”. (Please recognize I say that without knowing him or his leadership.) While our attitudes are our responsibility, the leader needs to help us along the way and equip us with information so we can enter into worship. The words to the music would be a key part of that. My current worship leader does a great job of walking us through new songs when he introduces them. We also have words that are shown on a screen so we all see the same thing(although I know that doesn’t work for all churches). This helps us tremendously. Occasionally our leader sings words that don’t match what is on the screen, but usually he is just swaping two lines from the song so we can follow along. My worship leader also reads my blog, maybe he will comment on this too.

  4. April 5, 2007 3:30 pm

    Delany…I am a worship leader at Sherie’s church. Great question, and great post Sherie. As Sherie said, I frequently sing words that don’t match what is on the screen for the community to see. It is in those moments that I am convicted about spending more time and devotion to working on my craft so that I don’t become a distraction to the community of worshippers. Any slight distraction can easily remove people from an atmosphere of worship. As Sherie said, as a worship leader it is not my job to connect you in worship to God. That is up to you. It is my job to move you toward the presence of God. And in doing that, I need to be as far out of the way as I possibly can.
    I agree with Sherie in that perhaps a simple graceful conversation with your worship leader would help. He/she may just be unaware of what they are doing.

    Blessings…

  5. 4given2 permalink
    April 15, 2007 1:44 pm

    Josh and Sherrie:

    Thanks to both of you. We were on the road last week and not in a worship service last week (Easter). But I did take to heart your words and prayed about this situation. I am part of the problem. I decided that
    I was not going to allow this to interfere with my worship with Him. At worship today we had a different worship team. Thanks for all you do Josh as leader in worship. It is extremely important and I know you cannot please everyone…..

    Delany

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