As a congregation, we’ve spent the last few months discussing how to best worship together at Providence. During these worship forums, we shared ideas with one another around the table, talking about what worship means for us and what worshiping together as one congregation on a regular basis could look like.
In their book, Worship Together in Your Church as in Heaven, Josh Davis and Nikki Lerner challenge readers on the discussion of worship. I like what they have to say and believe it’s worth sharing with you:
“Many times as we approach the subject of worship, we are asking the wrong questions. What kind of music do we like? What are the felt needs of the congregation? Who is our target audience? In what ways can we best worship God? But, what if, instead, we were to ask the question: what does God desire? Ephesians 5:10 exhorts us to ‘try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord’ (ESV). Instead of focusing on what is pleasing to us, let’s find out what pleases God.”
Throughout the Bible, we see many diverse expressions of worship and devotion: standing up, sitting down, bowing down, laying prostrate, clapping hands, raising hands, shouting, silence, stillness, and dancing. Clearly, in Scripture, there are many ways in which God’s people worship—and all are pleasing to God. When we get to the heart of the matter, what God truly desires most is not so much a what or a how as a who: God wants us. Our worship, then, should be a glorifying “Thank You!” to God. When we can do this together, we are strengthened as a community.
As we become a more unified, stronger worshiping community, the Music Ministry’s goals remain the same: To offer the best music, in the best spirit, to the best of our ability to help God’s people glorify God together. We believe music must always serve the greater purpose of worship, which means that, in each service, we will use the music that best points us toward God and God’s glory. In other words, music must assist the congregation in worship. We heard this idea expressed time and again throughout our three worship forums—and I firmly agree.
Finally, we want to aid our members in developing their God-given gifts and in using them to express themselves in the body of Christ. At Providence, we are blessed with many wonderful musicians, and I am excited to use all people and expressions as we seek to tell God’s story each week. May worship move us to a more profound, Alleluia!
Soli Deo Gloria!