What is wrong with the worship in most Churches?

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We, the conservative and Evangelical church, for the most part has forgotten what it is all about. The liberals and mainliners did these decades ago, now we are doing it? How?

Just as they did, by substituting what we want and throwing out what God wants!

We just rationalize it better (well, not really). The prime problem we have is that most of us in ministry should know what worship is; but, in practice, we do not. We ignore the main event and place our emphases on the trivial and unimportant. We focus on our style and music preferences, the techniques and practices of the sound and the instruments, the trimmings and trimming and so forth, having the ‘right’ guy to lead worship, thinking we are being practical when we are not. Like in Revelation chapter three, while Jesus is knocking on the door, we ignore Him, too busy; too preoccupied. He is left outside of the Church when He should be front and center as Supreme, exalted, worshiped, and reverenced! While the technicalities are important to a degree, they are not meant to be center stage or even given a place in worship (Rev. 3:14-22).

Most pastors and churches totally ignore Christ in their worship!

The foremost aspect to keep in mind about worship is that it is not about us! It is not about preferences of style, order, procedures, music, who is leading, who is not leading, and so forth.

Worship, which is real authentic and practical praise, is all about placing Christ first, acknowledging His Lordship and place, and our response of praise with reverence and gratitude to Him for who He is and what He has done. The sad fact it most Christians in the pews do not have a clue about worship or praise-and may I go on so far as to say-even most worship pastors. Why? Because, we do not model and/or teach God’s precepts and disciple our leaders properly! So, they are consumed with what they want and forget what He wants. We forget that it is about Christ-not about us!

In John, chapter four, we are given some key aspects of what God desires and requires concerning worship through His encounter with an outcast woman. He is seeking worshippers, real Christians giving real, effectual, true adoration from hearts that truly love God, who are grateful for His work, and are dedicated to His true Truth-not to the ideas of people, our schemes, trends, or feelings. This is also is a snip at the overly traditional church missing the point, both in the pretentious Jewish services then and the ones many of us lead today. The contrast, Jesus was making is that there are too many worship services that are merely rhetorical, driven by obligation, meaningless ritual, and liturgy that just spins one’s pride and/or hides one’s heart (John 1:18;; 3:3; 4;1-26; 14:16-18; Acts 2:33).

Worship is a covenant and call from our Lord to come before Him and meet with Him with our reverence, gladness, and joy.

It concerns how we draw near and give God the recognition and admiration that He deserves.

Real Worship is our inward expression of attitude to His Holiness and authentic praise is our outward expression like singing and clapping in gratefulness for who Christ is and what He has done. Both are offered as a church service for worship and a lifestyle of being a Christian (Psalm 22:27; 29:2).

Real Praise is our motivation from an impassioned, changed heart, with an emotional and mindful exaltation of our gratitude for what God has done. It is a call to know Him intimately and express appreciation to Him with honor and thanksgiving, doing so with passion, sincerity, conviction, and in reverent fear and trembling.

Worship is our aptitude and attitude of our expressions to God and praise is the practice of expressing our desire to know our Lord and Savior further, and being grateful for who He Is and what He has done for us.

Worship and praise are the giving of our best to Him. And, we do this because we are His; we give Him our heart that is already His. He has given His best to us already; in addition, we are enveloped in His eternal love and care for pure and useful purposes. This has nothing to do with musical prefaces or orders of worship. It is the matter of a changed heart that responds back to Christ, who is the audience of our worship, as we are the performers. What we are doing in our church services is placing this attitude into a presentation where God is the audience and we are the ones who offer praise.

More here:

http://www.intothyword.org/apps/articles/default.asp?blogid=3881&view=post&articleid=70204&fldKeywords=&fldAuthor=&fldTopic=0

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Worship must be taken seriously!

consum chruch

Worship must be taken seriously!

Worship must be done with pure hands and heart (Psalm 24:4)!

True Worship will have these Six Aspects

“At the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

1. First, worship is appreciation and our identification, of who Christ is in our lives. He first reaches out to us, and because of our gratitude, we are to love Him back. We are to respond to Christ’s claim upon our lives. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can recognize God’s revelation to us. We can see who our Redeemer is, what He has done for us, and what He requires of us.

2. Second, worship is a response to God’s revelation, because God makes known His love to us. Christ reveals Himself to us in the Word and in His character. God revealed Himself to the Patriarchs, and then to Moses, and gave us a pattern for worship. He reveals Himself in the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, and in the quiet assurance that He is there with us!

3. Third, worship is a relationship, because God seeks us, then abides with us. Thus, in worship, we are praising and speaking to the audience, and that audience is God! Then, we are to listen as He speaks to us through His Word. Christian worship is a conversation with our God through His Holy Spirit. It is not a performance or a show; we are not seeking to entertain or promote ourselves, but to make known Christ, crucified. Worship is also an intimate and personal encounter with the Creator of the universe who first loved us. We are to make known our adoration, gratitude, and our needs, (not needs first!) and through this, discover His Will for our lives–to know Him, and make Him known.

4. Fourth, worship is reverence. We need to know the seriousness and awesomeness of God. We are to fear Him as in Proverbs 3:5. He may be our best friend, and we can talk to Him in that way, but He is first, and foremost the King and Creator of all. He is to be placed first, and is not to be an after thought, especially in church! God does indeed desire that we admit our spiritual need for Jesus Christ, so we can put away pride and arrogance, and be surrendered and poured out to Him (Gal. 2:20f; Phil. 3:10). This reverence is the essential duty of all Christians, and is the proof of the working of the Holy Spirit within us. His presence (Spirit) will cause us to give glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

5. Fifth, worship is a cleansing of sin. We are to acknowledge our sin, and turn from it. Then, we will see our churches revitalized and sanctified. Then, we can have an impact in the community and world. We have to be the people of God to do the work of God! When we become emptied of all self-concern, pride, and arrogance, God will enter in with more power! What is stopping Him now? Us! It is our petty political struggles, gossip, slander, pride, self-delusions, and refusal to acknowledge Christ as Lord over all! We have to realize the Christian life is about seeking God’s direction of holiness and service.

6. Sixth, worship will lead to renewal. The point of the Christian life is to know Christ, to be like Christ. Thus, the longer we are in surrendered worship and prayer, the deeper in the walk with Christ we become; through the power of the Spirit, renewal will come.

Our understanding of what a church worship service is must reflect the precepts of Scripture. This includes our influence, and the format of our worship services. Our influence must not be just trends or data from surveys. It must be from His Word, period! We can mix in new ideas, such as songs, prayers, ways of delving the sermon, but not the fundamentals; nothing we do in doing church can contradict God’s Word!

Worship will be the central aspect of Heaven. (Rev. 4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:9-17; 11:15-18; 15:2-4; 19:1-10) Thus, it must be the central aspect of doing church, and of each Christian’s life (Col. 3:17)!

Worship must be taken seriously! Worship must be done with pure hands and heart (Psalm 24:4)!

Worship is not found in the mixing board

Worship is not found in the mixing board, it is found in the Person and Work of Christ and our poured out gratitude to and for Him. All the instruments and equipment are mere tools, we are the offering of praise, Christ is the One we worship!

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“I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the gods I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted. May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth.” Psalm 138:1-4

The problem with many of my associates in ministry is that they think Christ impacting is just emotional or something we do not need to work on. They see impacting worship as how piercing the music is and measure the quality of our services by technical standards.

Worship becomes the procedural of the staff so it is pleasing to the congregation, and thus we ignore its prime purpose.

Worship becomes about how it feels, how it is bearing to our members emotions and outlooks, not about how we are impacted by Christ so we are changing and thus praising Christ for what He has done in us.

Real impacting worship will help us connect to God, then to one another, and then to the community. When we are not impacted, we are not worshiping rightly, and thus our connections with God and others will be skewed and messed up.

http://www.churchleadership.org/apps/articles/?articleid=41984&columnid=4541

The Essentials of real Worship

The changes over the centuries have been momentous, but the basics have remained the same:

1. Honor God by reverence and awe as respecting and honoring His Lordship and sovereignty. As a community of believers, we are to gatherer weekly to mentally focus on God, and pour our hearts out to Him (1 Samuel 15:22: Matthew 15:9: Luke. 11:41-42; John 4:23; Acts 20:27; Galatians 2:20-21; Hebrews 10:24-25; 12:28-29; Revelation 1:10). Ecclesiastes 5:1 says, Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.

2. Praise His Name by singing of hymns/praise songs, prayer and/or liturgy/ Psalter (reading or singing the Psalms)–(Isaiah 6:1-5; Luke 11:41-42; Psalm 19; 29:2; 95:6-7; 150; Ephesians 5:19). The type and style of songs are not as important as the heart and intention of the leader and congregation. The words need to be Biblical and point to the Glory of Christ. The focus is glory and honor; it is never to be entertainment to the congregation. God is the audience and we are the performers to honor Him. It is OK to be creaawtive in worship, such has skits, plays, and various expressions, but not for the sake of entertainment. The question to ask is, does it distract people from the reverence and glory of Christ? If not, it probably is OK. If it does, or could, then save the entertainment for the social times.

3. Confession of sin: We are to acknowledge our sin, and also offer our sincere repentance (Lev 4; 6:24-f.; 7:1-f.; 16:1-f; 1 Kings 17:18; Ps 51:4-6; Isa 6; 53:10, 12; Matt 12:24, 31; Mark 7:20-23; John 1:5; 3:19-21; 8:31-34; 16:8-9; 15:22; Rom. 3:20; 5:12-20; 6:15-23; 7:7-20; 2 Cor. 11:3; Gal. 3:19-24; 1 Tim 2:14). We have to realize the impacting nature of sin, how it destroys, and how Christ paid our penalty for it! If you have any doubt, remember, the outward life is determined by the inner (Matt 5:17; 7:15-17).

4. Prayer must be the focus of the church, with intercession, and thanksgiving, as well as supplication (Acts 2:42).

5. Reading of the Word: We are to never forsake the reading of the Bible; if you do, you have a club and not a church (Acts 2:42; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 3:17).

6. Commentary: The applying of the Word by the worship leader/ pastor is the sermon or homily. In the Reformed perspective, the whole church service should revolve around the ministry of the Word. The sermon is central to the worship services. Everything else is either preparatory to, or a response to, the message from Scripture (Acts 2:47; 20:7-8; Col. 1:25; Philippians 3:3; 1 Tim. 3:2; 2 Tim. 2:24; Tit. 1:9).

7. Fellowship is to build up and honor one another in order to strengthen the church, the people of God (Eph. 4:12; cf. 1 Cor. 14:12).

 

The Church is a Response to Grace

Colossians 1:15-23

We must be about how do I glorify Christ, not please our selves, and do this in all things—worship, relationships, our thought processes, how we make decisions, and how we institute and instigate the work of the church. It all must flow and come from Christ our Lord, our Leader and God, and from nowhere else. When we stop experiencing Jesus as our Lord, and He becomes only a figure in the sanctuary, then we will not be a purposeful or called Church for Him. When we are singing praise choruses and hymns that point to His Holiness and Greatness and as Head of our lives and church, do we mean it? Or, is it merely rhetoric and repetition that has no meaning behind it?

The church exists as a response to the grace of our Lord. Because of what He did, we are to glorify, magnify, praise His name, and then respond further from our worship of Him to our works for Him.

Remember that works have no saving construct; they are only the appreciation and response we are give to His majesty and redemption. Grace working in us will produce the work and will of our devotion and holiness to set us apart for His plan. Our response is to accept His teachings and love with joyful excitement, and replicate it in our lives, thoughts, and actions, and to grow and perfect the relationship and work He gives us.

Remember the Dead Sea; if all we do is allow Him to flow into us and not out, we will stagnate.

If we just try to go it alone without our Lord, we will fail. We cannot flow out if nothing flows in. The responsibility is clear; we are to allow His Spirit to flow in and out, as we are His tools, His children, and His love. When our faith becomes strong, we will not be moved from it, and that means we will not be moved away from Christ. This is what steadfastness is all about: not being shaken from our beliefs and faith in our Lord. When we stray off our path, we tend to substitute steadfastness with stubbornness that takes us far from the purpose and responsibility of the Lord’s church. Being firmly rooted in Christ means keeping to the integrity of Scripture and His teachings, for when we stray from that path, our church will stray away from His opportunities and call. Christ gives us the hope and opportunities to grow, learn, and abide in Him; we are to respond to the call and opportunities He gives with hope and joy.

Got Intimacy with Christ?

Do you long for intimacy with Christ as Lord and love of your life?

Christ gave us grace from His love to make Him our home of faith and motivation in life. Then, He prepares an eternal home for us too. The question is, as Christians, do we give back our worship, praise, gratitude, and devotion to Him? Are we at home with Him as our main inspiration, impulse, and comfort in this life, not just in the life to come (John 14:23)? 

We can be assured He cares and loves us beyond description; but, do we love Him back?

God has a purpose for this world and for our lives and it is all about communion in and with Him. We must find a way to increase our awareness and love for Christ in our daily lives so our lives mean something more than just “what I want” and “what I can get.” It must be Christ-focused, for this is what Heaven is all about too! 

Christ brings us Heaven! He brings peace and a future to us who do not deserve it. Because of Him, we have hope and a future and most of all, we have Him both now and forevermore! What is better than that?! There is nothing that can be a greater motivator and comfort than knowing for certain who Christ is, what He has done, and what place He has for you and me! Now, let us live our lives as if that is true—because it is true. And, keep in mind these powerful passages as well as John 14 in mind, as love and obedience are connected in Him!