Let's talk again about the characteristics of a healthy church. There are ten of them. We are on number two.
The second one is "God-exalting worship".
The healthy church comes together on a regular basis to worship God in ways that engage us on a physical, spiritual and emotional level.
As I have listened to our church family the past five months, I am thankful that worship is not a focal point of relational warfare.
Worship can be such an emotional subject, in all probability because it is so personal to us. It is the way that we connect with God in an intimate way.
I have a theory. It's just a theory. I believe that the way you worshipped God in your formative teenage and early adult years is the way you are most comfortable with connecting with God throughout your life.
For me it was in a setting where there were several acoustical guitars and some drums. For others it was in a southern gospel setting with traditional hymns. For others still, it was during the years when there were choruses about God. For others it was when choruses that were sung "to" instead of "just" "about" God began to appear.
It takes a tremendous amount of spiritual maturity to be able to flow in all kinds of different styles of worship.
Let me say at this point: The goal of worship is to point people to God.
God is to be the focus of our worship. In reality, there is no Christian "music" only Christian lyrics. We can't say one style has the corner on the Christian market, nor even that one style is more traditional than another. Speaking of tradition, how far back do we go to sing traditional songs? To the Georgian chants of the first century? What is ultimately important is not the style but "are we connecting to God?"
To be healthy in worship, I would suggest the following:
1. We must know and practice scriptural guidelines that lead us to biblical patterns of worship.
2. We must honor the roots of the universal church and of Stone Church in particular.
3. We must constantly be aware of the many varieties of musical styles and tastes and utilize the best in contemporary music.
4. We must use diversity as a positive tool of bringing us together in worship rather than a hindrance.
5. We must nurture an atmosphere where the process of making music "to the Lord" is honoring and lifting up Christ.
6. We must realize that giving our tithes and offering is worship. The proclamation of the word of God is worship. Praying with and for one another is worship.
7. We must practice worship on a daily basis by lifting up God in our lifestyle and daily communication with Him.
Let me pray:
"Father our desire is to worship you in spirit and in truth. To exalt your name. To surrender ourselves to you as we lift up holy hands in praise to you. Amen."
7 hours ago