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?