The inner essence of worship is to know God truly and then respond from the heart to that knowledge by treasuring God and being satisfied with God above all earthly things. The outward expression of worship is Christ-exalting service both to God and fellow man.
In this day, there seems to be a lot of confusion about whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God. There are core differences between Islam and Christianity which make the answer no, we do not. Let’s look first at a few basic Christian beliefs and determine why.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9, emphasis mine)
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, emphasis mine)
Jesus also rightfully claimed to be God. “‘Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!’” (John 8:58)
“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
“But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)
This post was originally posted here. Re-posted with permission from the author.
If you lead worship in a small group setting or at a church that doesn’t have a band, you have a unique opportunity as a worship leader.You can literally go wherever you feel led at a moment’s notice. You can change tempo, key, song, or arrangement without having to communicate to a team. There’s a ton of freedom that comes with leading solo corporate worship. But there are also some challenges.
This post was originally posted here. Re-posted with permission from the author.
Songs are powerful.
A man named Andrew Fletcher said it well: “Let me write the songs of a nation and I care not who makes its laws.”
As a worship leader, you’re having just as much, if not more, influence on your congregation as your pastor preaching his sermon. Stop and think about that for a second. (And go read James 3:1 and my post Worship Leaders are Teachers).
This is an important question and getting clarity on this will help shape and empower you as a worship leader.
King David didn’t just write songs to have a hobby. It was one of the main ways he impacted his nation. He would write songs for people to sing and thus he was training, challenging, and encouraging them through song.
Each and every week, you’re given a captive audience of people who, whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re training, challenging, and encouraging. Being intentional about clarifying your theological worship vision will help you partner with the Lord, your team, and your church in an even more dynamic way.
I’ve been leading worship at the house of prayer here in Tallahassee since 2008. We’ve had many great times of worship, but also plenty of awkward sets where we felt we really missed the mark. Whenever we feel as a worship team that we had a bad set, it brings to question what makes a time of worship good? What makes it successful?
These tips are by no means exhaustive. But I’ve found them to be very helpful to keep in mind as a worship team.
First and foremost, worship is a matter of the heart. When a life is surrendered to Christ, worship is always the overflow. A worship set is always personally successful when your heart is sincerely worshipping the Lord.
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure (sincere) heart” (Ps. 24:3–4, emphasis and parenthesis mine)
The term “prophetic musician” simply describes a musician who, operating in the spirit of prophecy, testifies of Jesus. Because prophecy is simply the testimony of Jesus, it can be coupled with many different mediums. Preachers preach the testimony of Jesus; teachers teach it. Singers sing the testimony of Jesus; painters paint it. All these mediums can prophesy about who Jesus is and edify the Church.
“[T]he testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10)
The Bible has some amazing accounts of prophetic musicians who cast out demons and won military battles through melodies and songs.
Young David played his harp and caused King Saul to be set free from a terrorizing spirit: "And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.” (1 Sam. 16:23)
As a musician of 12 years, I know all of the temptations and pitfalls that one may go through as they serve on a worship team. Especially if you’re on a solid team that exhibits a lot of skill and sounds really good. Humility, meekness, and godly obedience have to be intentionally sought after in these scenarios or you might find yourself struggling with a big head, even if it’s under-the-radar thoughts about how good it sounds rather than how good God is.
So why is it more important to seek godly character than to seek skill or building your sound? And what can you do to develop your character as you grow in skill?
I grew up going to church. Every Sunday I would walk into church with my family, climb the stairs to the balcony, and sing a combination of worship songs with the congregation. Some of the congregation could sing, some couldn’t. But still, we sang our songs—waving our flags, clapping our hands (on and off-beat) and tapping our well-meaning, clumsy feet to the strums of the guitar and the beat of the drums. I loved it.
But did you ever wonder why we sing in church? Why do we attempt to reach those unattainable notes with our morning voices? Why do we repeat the words to well-known songs over and over again, week after week?
We just completed our second “Burn Weekend” of continuous worship and prayer for 24 hours — this first weekend in November. We feel the Lord is releasing a unifying work in our region as individuals from many other churches and congregations are participating in the “incense ministry” of continually exalting Jesus through worship, prayer, and works of justice. You can watch some of the archived sets here.
These weekends hold significant impact as night and day prayer actually shifts the spiritual climate and sends “speedy” justice to a region, as Jesus taught in Luke 18. At our first Burn Weekend two young adults got saved within the first 3 hours! As the Lord builds His house we are praying for an increase in the “water level” of the Spirit!
We just recently finished 24 hours of non-stop worship this weekend at the missions base. It was incredible. Nine different worship teams from local churches and ministries ministered to the Lord Friday and Saturday as we offered Jesus a 24-hour offering of adoration.
“‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up…”-Acts 15:16
In Rev. 4-5 we see a glimpse of what happens in Heaven. In the throne-room where God dwells, angels, creatures and elders sing incessantly, “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty” forever.
Beyond the general affirmations of God’s desire to bring Heaven and earth together (Eph 1:10, Col 1:19, Matt 6:10, Luke 11:2-3), God makes it explicit that He desires earthly worship to mimic heavenly worship. In Exodus 24-25 God meets with Moses on Mount Sinai and commissions him to build a temple according to what he saw (Exodus 25:8-9). This as an earthly replica to a heavenly reality (I Chronicles 28:19).
This weekend we were pleased to have Justin Rizzo from IHOP-KC minister with us to a group of around 200 people. This is a short recap of some of the key moments of the weekend.
On Friday night Justin spoke on the biblical foundations of night and day prayer and the primary purpose of constant worship and prayer being worldwide exaltation of Jesus. He stated that the reason to have night and day prayer in a city isn’t just because it’s ‘cool’ or a neat fad to jump on, but it is because Jesus is completely worthy of constant adoration, as found in Heaven at this moment (Rev. 5:8.) We must have a model of replication of the 24/7 adoration and worship of Jesus in Heaven here on the earth (Matt 6:10.) We are to pray and worship 24/7 simply because Jesus is worthy.