The idea of my becoming a “worship leader” wasn’t mine, and honestly, not readily accepted when confronted with the idea. I struggled for many years to come to the realization that for whatever unfathomable reason, God wanted me to lead the singing portion of our contemporary church services. We called it the time of worship. When I finally relinquished my ideas of what I was supposed to do with my marginal talent, I began to serve fervently in youth and college groups, interning and learning from far more gifted individuals than myself. I was in awe of the responsibility; however, my understanding of worship at that time was that the more earnestly, skillfully, (and loudly) you sang, the closer you were to experiencing His presence. There were many moments over the years that affirmed and encouraged that very thought. Countless hours pouring over set lists, key changes, and tempos, to somehow coax the invisible God and Holy Spirit out of hiding and into our gathering. In hindsight, I believe God was simultaneously endeared and bemused with my limited, but heartfelt understanding of worship and, in short, He met myself and countless others in that place of infancy. It was a place of revelry, demonstrative behaviors like lifting of hands and shouts of joy, and the inevitable emotional responses to the melodies and words we sang.
There is great joy and solidarity to be found in voices joined together, BUT there is so much more to a life devoted to God in worship. The scripture is replete with references of another level of “worship” for us as believers. In fact, nowhere in scripture does the word “worship” appear in the original language as synonymous with singing; however, adoration, reverence, and bowing of the knee are inferred. Music and song can be, and is, a vehicle for those heart positions for many people. Music is the universal language of the soul. It helps you express love, adoration and reverence in ways you may not be able to on your own. So we sing and we declare, adore and proclaim. My challenge to you is this: “Is our time of singing for 15-20 minutes on Sunday the only way or time you worship Him?” If it is, and you have allowed yourself to be lulled into thinking that this is all there is to “worship” in life devoted to Christ….you are missing out.