Crazy Worship

Children at a Gospel presentation in Eau Clair...

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This topic is hotter than politics.

Get a group of Christians together from different bible-based churches and only one argument will spark—worship style.  There’s the man who loudly declares “not one single contemporary song should play in our service,” to the way one should worship God in the congregation.  The Amen-person that punctuates a point the pastor makes and the hand-raiser who cannot help but raise her hand when a certain song plays.  God talks to us in worship.  If it’s done in context, it’s beautiful.

The Church of No People has done an excellent job in tackling worship.  I’ve included a couple of quotes from the main article:

“For a special few Christian soldiers, the front row just can’t contain them.  It’s okay for amateurs, but once you graduate from stretching your hands to block everyone’s view and yelling over everyone so God can hear you, you have to start to make your own way.  Every once in a while you’ll meet one of these people who’s totally comfortable with doing something no one else is doing.  Last week, a woman (of course, in the front row) decided the third verse of the second song was just the right moment to start waving a flag.  Yes, a flag.  A cloth on a stick, which she brought from home.”

“I just can’t figure it out.  I try to love other Christians and accept their worship.  But I can’t deny that their worship definitely interferes with my worship.  I’m sitting there, trying not to stare at someone flailing around in the front row when I should be focused on God.”

“This is me.  I sing the songs, but not too loud, because I can’t carry a tune.  I’ll tap the chair in front of me with my hands and kind of move around, but I have a really hard time moving my hands higher then waist height because: A) my arms are so manly that I don’t want to cause my sisters in Christ to stumble, and B) because I know by putting my hands up in the air, the guy behind me won’t be able to see the screen.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve got sweet dance moves (ask my wife.)  I’ve been in several Black Eye Peas videos as a body double for Will.i.am (well, that’s not true.)  I just don’t rock dat body in worship.”

“This is the least distracting Christian.  This person sits quietly, stands when they’re supposed to, and hardly makes any audible sounds.  If anything spiritual is going on with this person, only God knows about it.  Some more boisterous Christians might be tempted to be annoyed with this guy, but hey, he just doesn’t care to put on a show for your sake.”

“It reminded me how diverse worship is, and how I’m only comfortable with a small slice of it.  Really, a lot of worship makes me uncomfortable.  I want to emphasize that I have nothing against Christians who worship differently than me.  I’m just uncomfortable around them.  So I started wondering if I should just be more comfortable with Christians who worship differently from me, or if they should take a seat and not draw so much attention to themselves.”

Matt does an excellent job of presenting a problem and talking about it without offending anyone (well…almost all of the time).  It made me think and question the whole worship argument.  Shouldn’t we focus on God?  Here are a few of the comments from that post:

“Yay! first again! First thanks for stopping by my site…It was a pleasant surprise.
On to your post…lmao again. Lol at circumsion sunday ewww. I’m not sure i fit into any one category im probably an amalgam of the self-conscious christian and the front row Christian…although i tend to exhibit front row behavior from the middle row….does that make me a middle row Christian?  Ah…i believe i am a middle row Christian….a perfect blend of worship…not in your face and not a ‘living stone’:-p” – http://glamtings.wordpress.com/

“I heard Louie Giglio quote 2 Corinthians 5:13 to a bunch of ‘overly loud’ kids at a Passion event in Cape Town.  He was saying “There is a time for the way you are behaving and it is not now.” or “Take into account what is happening before you express yourself”.  I hope that neither he nor I have messed up the interpretation of that verse.”  – http://justplainron.com/

“The continuous cryer? I’m the one toward the front row who bawls her eyes out at nearly every song. Not THE front row, because a raised stage and progressive lenses just don’t mix. I dab my eyes & blow my nose with Kleenex as unobtrusively as possible, then squirt with purse-size Purell just prior to the “greet the person next to you” portion of the service. Timing the nose blow is an art. You have to do it in sync with the drummer or you ruin the worship experience for everyone.” – http://steeletheday.com/

“I have to admit I was a little afraid to read the comments on this one! I guess my style is sort of in the moment. I like to be exuberant, but I definitely don’t mind silence. I’ll get down on my knees or raise my hands and I don’t have to be in the front row to do that. As someone who leads worship, I of course want everyone to be passionate about singing and music but I know that’s not how it works. I just trust that God is moving and pray people respond as I try to respond. I realize its pretty cliché to say it, but if people will get all crazy and exuberant at a football game or a rock concert why can’t we get excited when we worship God and consider all the great things He’s done for us? The key there is WHEN IT’S APPROPRIATE, but that’s for another comment…” – http://blog.breakthroughalaska.com/

So how does God speak to me?

At church, I sit quietly and do a lot of listening and watching.  I love expository messages.  Tony and I talk about the message on the way home.  It is in the quiet of my living room minus the distraction of the television and the internet where I find my communion with God complete.  I can open His Word and dig deep.  I can blog about Him, and in that moment of reading scripture and exploring an idea, He gives me scriptural references that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.  The best communication is when I am in prayer.  The second best is the answer to prayer.  Worship is living every day in Christ.  It’s in the falling down and the rising up and it’s in the quiet moments—the sunset, the sunrise, a lake, the changing colors of the leaves, or the peace of a wide open valley.  Worship is uncomplicated.  It doesn’t matter if a hymn or an electric guitar is playing.  He is in the every day.  Worship in context is beautiful.

How Does God Speak To You?

 

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19 thoughts on “Crazy Worship

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « Nikole Hahn's Journal

  2. It’s interesting that I’m opposite to Melissa. I like the front rows (not the very first row!) because I’m not distracted by anyone else in front of me and I’m not focused on the people around me. I can be quiet and still — or very expressive and totally arms outstretched. I guess it depends on how I feel that Sunday. But, I do have to say, it depends on the church’s worship style. If it’s the church is conservative, I’m not giong to wave my arms around because that is SO distracting – corporate worship. But, if the church is more expressive, then I can just go as I feel led.

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  3. Great post! Our very lives are worship.. and what He desires – as in Romans 12:1

    Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

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  4. I love this post! I am right there with certain styles of worship making me uncomfortable. There is no “wrong” way to worship, and I believe that everyone should worship God in whatever way brings them closer to Him. If spasms, falling on the floor, or punctuating the preacher’s every sentence with a hearty “Praise the Lord!” is what keeps you on the right path, then so be it! But yes, some styles do make me uncomfortable, but it certainly doesn’t make them wrong.

    As for how God speaks to me, it’s mostly feelings. I just get these feelings… intense and undeniable. Like I’m being guided by a steady and unwavering hand… being pulled, kind of. Other times, God speaks to me through what appears to be circumstantial happenings. Like how I became a graphic designer (which I’ll have to blog about sometime) or how I met my husband. Other times, he speaks to me through recurring thoughts about something or someone, and still other times he speaks to me through dreams or occasionally, visions. What a great post, it really got me to thinking!!

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  5. I love that picture! Wow. Seeing those girls worship and who could not love God moving hearts like that, no matter how it may look. David dancing in his ephod may have struck an awkward cord with those around him, his wife even commented to it, and yet he was abandoned to God’s heart. I too have been uncomfortable with worship styles but I think it’s because it’s outside the box I’d like to neatly wrap it in. Even if it’s only my heart, I want to worship like David.

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    • I think worship in context is beautiful like those girls in the picture. You can’t help but smile when you see that picture. I think I would be the odd ball in let’s say a four-square church like someone dancing in a leotard in a conservative church. In context…love it! I also want to worship like David (minus the dancing in the streets without any clothes on…rofl).

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  6. I tend to stand in the back of the sanctuary, rather than the front row. When I’m in the front I worry too much about what others are thinking about my worshipping. When I’m in the back I feel secluded and can just focus on God. Interesting post, Nikole. :)

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  7. I think we do tend to make worship too complicated when it should be our simple outpouring to God, in whatever form that takes. My church is definitely a quieter, subdued one, only occasionally having “amen’s” and hand-raising. I’ve wondered what it would be like in a different setting.

    I like what you say:
    “Worship is living every day in Christ. It’s in the falling down and the rising up and it’s in the quiet moments—the sunset, the sunrise, a lake, the changing colors of the leaves, or the peace of a wide open valley.”

    Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Worship is between you and the Father. Close your eyes and be pure in heart. One of the things I like to do in our youth group is pass out heavy felt blindfolds, we all put one on and worship like no one is looking, cause no one is. Is it glorifying to the Lord? If not, something has to change.

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  9. Great post, Nikole!

    You know, I think I have been an amalgam of all those expressions of worship at one time or other but probably now fall within similarity with the author you quoted. I agree with you, though, some of my most precious times of worship and communication with the Lord are as I type out a blog post.

    Thanks for this. :)

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