This week, I want us to look at Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18-19 from a different angle. In these verses, we not only see the importance of Christ-centered, congregational singing. But we also see the central place of the heart in worship.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my five years of leading worship. My voice has cracked. My guitar pick has broken. My pickup battery has died. I’ve started singing in the wrong key. One time, my guitar string snapped and almost hit my sister in the face. I’ve even led with blood running down my fingers. But what happened this past Sunday might be the best mistake I’ve ever made while leading worship.
As a worship minister, my primary responsibility is choosing songs for our congregation to sing each Sunday. And this is something I take rather seriously. Because music is powerful. The songs we sing stick with us for years to come, influencing what we believe about the world, life, humanity—and, yes, even God.
I don’t always feel like worshiping God. But worship is more than a feeling. Just ask Job.
“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1 ESV).
The Bible describes Job’s righteousness. But Satan takes notice.
Each summer, my entire family goes on vacation together. I’m talking about my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. It’s a tradition of sorts. Now, maybe you don’t go on vacation with your extended family each year, but you have traditions. We all do. And if we’re honest with ourselves, traditions mean a whole bunch to us.
This week, I’m writing about the traditions of worship. Let me begin with a question: “What does traditional worship look like?” Does it involve hymnals? An organ? Choir robes? A grand piano? Electric guitar? Or does it involve any instruments at all? Now, it’s important to mention that I’m not referring to biblical traditions like communion and baptism. Those are God-ordained practices for His Church. Rather, my aim in this article is to discuss extra-biblical traditions like music style, dress code, decorations, and other “touchy” subjects. But how do these traditions influence our worship?