I can picture worship leaders nationwide taking up the accordion in order to remain hip and relevant. Of course, there would also be those who boldly stand firm against the worldly “polkification” of the Church. This kind of debate is the heart of the “worship wars” that have rocked the church for a couple of decades.
I’ve been thinking lately about how we “do” worship in church today. I’m not really talking about style of music, here (this is NOT a “Christians can rock too!” blog). I know that many, many churches pour a great deal of time, talent and hard work into the very worthy endeavor of leading a congregation to God’s throne each week, and that’s not going to look or sound exactly the same in every church. It shouldn’t, in fact.
Here’s where I’m going with this: Christian leaders have often been so focused on STYLE of music and FORM of presentation I suspect they’ve never given much thought to what “worship” actually is. To think beyond the “HOW” to the “WHY” of it.
As I’m sure you know, “worship” isn’t limited to simply singing praise to God or listening to a band play. The Greek and Hebrew words that are translated “worship” in Scripture contain rich meaning, but can be boiled down to these basic ideas: to bow, to submit, to serve, to honor.
When we “worship” God, we submit to His authority in our lives; we serve Him and give Him honor in all we do. Singing and playing instruments are simply one way that we serve, honor and submit to God – they are expressions of a worshiper’s life.
One of my favorite scriptures is 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.”
Now try an experiment with me; read that verse again and substitute “voices” for the word “bodies”:
“. . . offer your [VOICES] as living sacrifices . . .”
Now that’s not a bad idea – but offering my “voice” or “instrument” isn’t as complete as the idea of offering my whole self to God.
Submitting to God, serving Him and honoring Him with all of our lives. Becoming a “living sacrifice.”
THIS is our spiritual act of worship.