September 30, 2015

The Worship Leader and the Trinity - and Mission (Ch 4/5)

Chapter 4 – The Worship Leader and the Trinity

We who worship the one true and living God recognize that our worship should take His shape.  That shape includes the Trinity of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Trinitarian worship, then, at its core, is the worship of the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

True Trinitarian worship is mindful of the unique roles of each of the Persons and at times addresses Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in accordance with those roles.  In our songs, we want lyrics that address and praise the three Persons individually.

Chapter 5 – The Worship Leader and Mission

“Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” – John Piper

God desires to see worshipers from every tribe and every nation.  In places where that’s not happening, we need to be passionate about missions work to reach those people.

Worship is a rhythm of revelation and response.  So in order to encourage people to worship, we must help them see God.  One of the best examples of this in in Isaiah 6.  Isaiah sees the holiness of God and in his response he sees his own sinfulness.  Then Isaiah experiences God’s mercy and his response is complete surrender to God’s mission.

For the sake of the nations and for the sake of God’s glory, put the beauty of God on display!  People will fall in love with Him.  People who are in love do crazy things, like change the world.

When we turn people to “look at Him” they will respond with “Here am I, send me."

I love these thoughts of turning people to God and want to do this even better at Edgewood.  I'd be curious to hear from you about what specific things in a worship service help turn your focus more on God.  Any thoughts?

September 23, 2015

Qualifications of a Worship Leader and the Importance of Scripture (Ch 2-3)

We continue looking through Doxology and Theology tonight to read about qualifications of worship leaders and the importance of Scripture.

The Old Testament is filled with detailed directions on how to worship God.  This is proof that God cares about how we worship.  However, the New Testament makes it clear that He is more concerned with our inner attitude than our outward actions (“in spirit and truth” from John 4).

I love this quote from Matt Boswell and think it is right on...

“Worship begins in the heart, is cultivated in the home, and is displayed in the church.”

We shouldn’t be defined by our stage presence, but our desire to point people to the Lord all week long.  If the worship leader cannot lead his own wife and children well, he should not attempt to lead the bride of Christ.

One of the great joys of being a worship leader is putting God’s truth on the lips of God’s people.  So, worship leaders must be able to correctly handle and communicate the Truth of God.  The church cannot afford to settle for worship leaders who are capable musicians but are incompetent theologians.  We need to be teaching the Bible in our song lyrics.  The worship of those you are leading will be richer if you teach them the riches of the One they’re celebrating.

Even though a variety of people can serve as worship leaders, the oversight should come from a pastor of the church.  A pastor who meets the requirements of an elder in I Timothy 3 by being above reproach, a one-woman man, sober-minded, self-controlled, disciplined, respectable, mature, hospitable, able to teach, sober, peace-maker, humble, not a lover of money, and a leader in his home.

September 16, 2015

Doxology and Theology Study (Ch 1)

Tonight at choir we started a new devotional series and I wanted to share highlights here on this blog as well.  I'm looking forward to walking through the book called Doxology and Theology by Matt Boswell.  He has a lot of great thoughts for worship leaders and I encourage you to read the whole book.

In Chapter 1, he talks about several marks of the worship of the church.  His emphasis is on theology and how we should all strive to better understand the ways and the heart of God.

First, the worship the worship of the church is God-centered.  Our worship should express more of what God has done for us and less of what we will do for Him.

Second, the worship of the church is Biblically formed.  He said that "Worship leaders should come to lead the people of God with a guitar in one hand and a Bible in the other...knowing how to use each weapon well."

The chief end of theology (study of God) is doxology (the praise of God).  The rhythm of worship is revelation and response: our beliefs about God's revelation dictate our response.  In order to respond appropriately, we must be consumed by God's Word.  D.A. Carson put it this way,

"You cannot find excellent corporate worship until you stop trying to find excellent corporate worship and pursue God Himself."

Next, the worship of the church is congregational.  In our lyrics, there should be equally as much "we" as there is "me."  The primary function of the church singing is the church singing together.

Lastly, the worship of the church is missional.  As worship leaders we are to live in the light of the gospel.  What we truly believe about the gospel is evidenced by how concerned or unconcerned we are for those apart from its grip.  Christian worship is build upon, shaped by, and saturated with the Word of God.

It's a great reminder that our position before God is secured in what Christ has done for us, not in the ministry we do for Him.  But as we get to know God better, our best response should be to worship Him in all we do.