Churches Need Foundational Teaching on Worship
Below is an article by my friend, Frank Nihart, a minister through music in south Alabama. Through his leadership the Lord has built a strong and growing choir and orchestra ministry in his church. Starting later this month, Frank will take all 100 of his music ministry team through our worship study, Praise More Powerful. As you read his article, I believe you’ll agree that it’s evident this worship leader has a burden to disciple his choir and musicians in true, Biblical worship…
Guest Post by Frank Nihart, worship leader at First Baptist Church, Troy, AL:
Please allow me to ask you a question: What are you doing to lead your choir members, praise team, praise band, deacons, and church members in their understanding of worship? Now, here’s the more important question: What is worship to you? If you and I can’t answer that latter and more probing question both emphatically and concisely, then we probably can’t lead our people to better grasp and experience true worship of our Lord.
To me, simple is good. My simple definition for worship is two words: “proper response.” Everything we do should be linked as a worship response to God. The Bible says to do everything for the glory of God: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:16-17)
The word, worship, comes from the Old English word, weorthscipe, which means “worthiness” or “extravagant respect”. The cornerstone to the foundation of understanding worship is to teach our people that our living should evolve into constant proper response to God as a result of our extravagant respect for who He is. It is important to “sing and to play skillfully” as Psalm 33 suggests, but God was not impressed with David’s musical skills apart from what was in David’s heart. He was the chief musician and the King of God’s people. Life was all about worshipping God through “right” living or righteousness.
Having Godly music with sound lyrics that are Biblically based is important. Growing our choirs is important. Focusing on evangelism in worship is important. Keeping up with our facilities is important. And we could go on. However, God looks on the heart. If we ever forget that, then we are moving away from the ideal.
Our people need to realize that we are only together two or three hours a week for corporate worship. What happens in our individual “walks” with God the other 165 hours between meetings is most also important to Him. I believe that if we as lead worshipers begin to focus more on being a “living sacrifice” which is our “reasonable service of worship” (See Romans 12:1-2) then our people will also develop a much greater “sacrifice of praise” to offer when we gather for corporate expression to God.
You may contact Frank via email: fnihart at troycable dot net