Why Worship Matters

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We all want to make the most of our time.  I've never met anyone who has said, "You know what, I really just want to waste my time doing things that don't matter."  In our podcast, youtube, online world, it's easy to catch a service, message, or even a message clip and call it good.  So, why does worship matter?  Is attending church even necessary?  Why should we "not neglect our meeting together" (Heb 10:25)?  A few thoughts:

1. Worship takes our focus off of ourselves.
Our "me-focused" existence is challenged when we worship together.  When we take dedicated time to fix our eyes on Jesus, we are reminded that it's all about Him.  When we come into the house of God to worship, we are encouraged to look to Jesus who is the real source of our strength and our hope, taking the pressure of our burdens off of us, and placing it at the foot of the cross. 

2. Worship places us in the context of the family of God.
When we worship with our church family in a service, we are surrounded by the people that make up the church or the "family of God."  We hear the people next to and behind us singing and, for a moment, we are reminded that the church is something that's bigger than us.  We are surrounded by God's people, singing God's praises, and that's a powerful thing. This is something that you can't get from a podcast or worshipping God alone in your room.  The community of faith worshipping together matters.  The story of what God has done in your life has the potential to build the faith of those around you.

3. Worship reminds us of how great God is and builds our faith.
In worship, we sing songs that are uplifting, hear testimonies that inspire our own faith, receive communion which reminds us of Jesus' sacrifice, and we hear the Word of God, which encourages us in our faith.  When we walk through trials and struggles, worship is an experience that reminds us that we're not alone, and that God is able to do "exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask or imagine," (See Eph 3:20-21) as we live for His glory. 

4. Worship teaches us who God is.
Having a proper understanding of who God is crucial because it is out of this understanding that we process the things that happen in our lives and in our world.  The songs we sing will (hopefully) give us an understanding of God as one who is mighty, powerful, able, and above all and at the same time personal, intimate, and near.  These truths set to melodies that we sing have the potential to transform the trajectory of our lives.  

The benefits of God's people gathering together for worship are so great!  While there are no perfect churches, I am SO thankful that God works through imperfect people to encourage and build faith in my life. 

What are some ways that worship has made an impact in your life?

Is God Listening?

Amos 5:23
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.


Remember today that although God made you to praise Him, there's more to praise than great sounding bands, choirs, ensembles, etc. God's first praise comes from your heart! Spend a little time today rehearsing how great God has been in your life, and ask him to search, you and know you, and see if there is "any hidden way" (PS 139) in your heart.

Why You Should Memorize Your Music

I can almost hear you groaning through the computer screen.  "Memorize my music?  You must be crazy?  What do you think, that I have nothing but time to sit around and learn worship songs? I'm not a professional musician.  Why would ever want to memorize my music?"

All good questions, and I'm glad you asked...er,...that I asked, for you.  Well, whoever asked, just give me a chance to explain before you rage-close this page and never return.

1.  Memorizing music improves our skills:  When you memorize your music, you're learning about it. What chords go together, what chords don't.  Get enough songs in your head, and you'll start making connections about key signatures, which chords typically follow each other, and their function within a song. Once you have feel for key signatures, and which chords occur in different keys, you'll be in much better shape if your worship leader throws a song in last minute. 

2. Memorizing music helps us play better together: Knowing your music allows you to really listen to what the other worship team members are playing.  Instead of burying your head in your stand, notice the different parts and adjust your own part, if need be.  You will begin playing together as a team, instead of a bunch of individuals trying to hit the right notes.

3.  Memorizing music makes the stage look cleaner: There's nothing worse than a cluttered, stand filled stage.  Get rid of the stands, and give yourself an opportunity to see how the songs are connecting (or not connecting) with your audience. 

4.  Memorizing music gets the songs into our hearts: Memorize a worship song, and you can "take it with you" anywhere you go.  Close your eyes and focus on what the words mean to you, how they connect with your own experience.  Tune your heart to hear what the Holy Spirit would say to you as you sing a song from your heart to Him.  When you have to focus on what chords come next, or wonder what the next lyric might be, it's difficult to hear anything else. 

Memorizing your music is an easy way to improve your skills, as a musician and as a leader.  Once you get started, you'll find that it's really not as difficult as you think.  Maybe you could start with memorizing one or two songs per set. 

Remember, it's about improving our ability to worship, and to lead in worship.  Start slow, and believe in yourself.  You can do it!  (I'm cheering for you, really!)

 

3 Reasons Skill Is Important for Worship Teams

Skill is important when desiring to lead others in worship.

What Skill Helps Us Do:
1. Skill Helps us Fix Our Attention on Jesus
If I'm not having to be totally focused on what chords/notes I'm singing or playing, my mind is freed up to focus on Jesus, the reason I'm worshiping in the first place. We focus on developing skill so we can focus more on God in worship.
Remember: the goal of practicing is not to do something until you get it right. In other words, do something until you can’t get it wrong.
Lack of skill leads to confusion, distraction, and irritation.

2. Skill Helps Us Serve the Church
God gives us gifts so that we can “serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10)
How do we serve one another in worship ministry:
-By leading clearly.
-By using arrangements that aren’t distracting.
-By possessing a calm, joyful countenance that expresses the hope that we’re singing about. “Those who look to Him are radiant.” (Psalm 34:5)
If we don’t have to think about the notes or parts, we’ll be free to look to the One we’re worshiping, and our faces will show it-and that helps people experience the presence of God.

3. Skill Multiplies Serving Opportunities
The more skill you possess, the more opportunities will be open to you.

So much of worship leading is preparation-spiritual, musical, and practical. Remember, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!

Fake It Till You Make It...

2 Chron 25:2
“He (King Amaziah) did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart.”

We can do the right things, but have hearts that aren't totally committed to God. As worshipers, our goal is to worship God "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Let it never be said of us that we "did right" in His sight, "yet not with a whole heart"!

Your heart matters most to God.  In a world that says "fake it till you make it", this is an area where we, as worshipers, need to constantly be evaluating.  God sees the real you, your real motivation, and the real desires of your heart. 

Are there areas of your life that you are keeping from Him?