We all have preferences on how to worship, often based on our personalities and backgrounds. Through the years this has produced tension, even controversy, in coming together as the Church to worship. We can have people on opposite sides of a spectrum, making it difficult to please everyone.
Tensions in Corporate Worship
Many of the tension points in corporate worship revolve around the following spectrums:
- Traditional versus Contemporary
- Volume & Beat versus Reverence & Awe
- Spirit-led versus Planned
When our personalities or backgrounds take our preferences in worship to a different end of the spectrum than what’s happening in the worship service, we can learn to be content, still able to truly worship God, when we separate out form from substance or principles from precepts. We need to get to the real essence of worship.
Biblical Truths to Remember About Worship
Since we worship God, we should seek to please Him. Biblical truths, therefore, not our preferences based on our personalities or backgrounds, should form our priorities in worship.
1) Worship is about the Lord, not about us and not about the form or medium used to worship.
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of things that were to come; the reality (substance), however, is found in Christ. (Col. 2:16-17)
2) What’s in the heart matters more to God than outward appearance or style.
With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy with and to walk humbly with your God. (Mic. 6:6-8)
3) God seeks those who worship in spirit AND truth, not either/or.
But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. (Jn. 4:23)
4) Worship is more than a Sunday affair, more than something we do at church or in our quiet times. It involves the whole of our lives, every day.
Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God –this is your spiritual act of worship. (Rom. 12:1)
Click on the links below to learn about resources on worship produced by Ministry Tools Resource Center: