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?

4 Ways to Be a Better Worship Pastor This Weekend

Every worship pastor can improve in their leadership.  There's always room to grow, do better, or serve more effectively.  Here's 4 ways to be a better worship pastor this weekend:

Pray
Pray for your people.  Take time to walk through your auditorium and pray for the people that will be filling the seats on Sunday.  Pray that they will experience the presence of God as you worship and hear the word.  Pray over your musicians, singers, and tech staff.  Ask God to meet them as they prepare for weekend ministry.  Pray that God would bless their families and give them favor in their workplaces.  Pray for your pastor-that God would fill them with his Spirit as they prepare and write their message for the weekend.  Ask God to speak to you and lead you as you lead the people in worship.  The work you do is so important. Don't neglect the true source of power for your life and ministry because you have a lot to do. 

Prepare
Do you know why you're singing the songs you're singing?  Have you spent time getting the truth of the songs into your heart? Seek God for something specific that he might want to share in your worship sets.  Take time to think/pray through your transitions.  What verse could you share?  What exactly would you feel like God is leading you to say?  Being Spirit-led and being unprepared are not the same thing.  Take time and seek God before you step on stage. 

Practice
The worship pastor should be the one that knows the music the most.  It's frustrating for everyone if the worship pastor or worship leader is unprepared musically.  Sit down and run through the songs before you get to rehearsal.  What creative elements could you bring to the songs you're singing this week?  Memorize the music so you can listen and direct without having to focus so much on playing/singing the right chords and words yourself.  It might sound weird, but the more prepared you are, the easier it will be to be spontaneous in your worship.  It takes a lot of work beforehand to be spontaneous.  When you and your team know where to go musically, you can begin to think about expanding creativity within your songs.   

Be Present
Worship pastors have a lot of things to think about on any given Sunday.  But let's not forget the main reason we're there-to shepherd God's people.  It's tempting to check out, hit the green room, and browse on your phone between services, or disconnect during the message.  Resist the urge to disconnect from your people, and get out there and greet them. Pray with them.  Hear their stories.  Show support for your pastor by sitting in the auditorium and listening to the message.  Your greatest ministry of the weekend might just be something you say to someone while you're not on the stage

Let's remember that what we do is much more than notes, chords, and lyrics.  We're in the business of life-change, of leading people to declare the truth of God's word in their lives, to look past their current reality to God's greater reality for their lives.  It's our honor and privilege to be filled with the Spirit, on our game, and ready to do whatever God may ask us to do.  Let's not neglect the "ordinary" moments of tuning our hearts each week to hear what God would say. Let's prepare the soil of our own hearts to be able to lead effectively.