Worship is our highest calling, the business of heaven and what we want, everything we do, to result in.....we want to Glorify God in everything! As we worship we take our eyes off ourselves and welcome God to inhabit our praise and lovingly invade and change our lives and our very beings. We want to worship God and celebrate who He is and what He has done for us in an intimate and accessible way, that incorporates and utilises the arts, media technologies and many instruments.
When it comes to worship in the Vineyard there are three main values that we hold dear. Intimacy, integrity, accessibility.
These values underpin our approach to worship, both in the spiritual sense in how we conduct our everyday lives and also in the practical expression of our worship through the writing and recording of songs.
Intimacy in worship is one of the foundations of the Vineyard movement. When John and Carol Wimber and others began meeting in a home in 1977 in California, they gathered because they were hungry to meet with God. And so, for years Vineyard worship around the world has been marked by songs that are simple expressions of love and devotion.
The Bible is full of accounts of intimate worship. As David looked after the sheep he sang intimate songs to the Lord. He continued to do the same when he became King of Israel.
The woman in Luke 7 worshipped intimately as she poured perfume on the feet of Jesus.
Intimacy will always be our highest calling and aim in this life and then, when we pass on to the other side, it’s only going to get better.
If there ever was a time when people are looking for integrity in leaders, that time is now.
It is evident that people are expecting more integrity from political leaders and business Leaders. They are expecting trustworthiness in all of life, and are not quite so willing to separate the private from the public. Integrity simply means wholeness, naturalness, the condition of being undivided. A consistency between private and public life.
Amos 5:23 “Away with your hymns of praise – they are mere noise to my ears.
I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely.”
We need to face the truth that if we don’t have integrity God hates our worship!
There is such protection in this truth. God doesn’t want us to come to Him as we think we should be, but as we are. And if what we are is not pleasing to Him, and not in line with His Word, then we cry out for mercy to change. That’s all He asks of us.
In the past few years our society has made huge strides to make public places more accessible to those with special needs. People with wheelchairs, hearing difficulties and the like can enjoy more events and places than ever before.
Sometimes as worship leaders, we need to ask some of the same questions that brought about change in the places we live: Is our worship accessible for all, or is it only accessible for those who are artistically able and mystical?
Making worship accessible sometimes means that we need something called restraint in worship. Restraint is the backbone of making music that others can follow and enter into. Here are a few tips on restraint during worship:
- Restraint is picking songs that will say what the majority of the people gathered want to say to God.
- Restraint is the discipline not to play or sing all the time – if you fill in the spaces with ‘your stuff’ the music cannot breath and the congregation feels overwhelmed.
- Restraint is the realisation that the notes you don’t play are just as important as the ones you do.
- Restraint is not adding tons of embellishments to a song that others cannot follow or sing.
- Restraint in worship isn’t necessarily easy and it doesn’t always feel good to you as a worship leader. But it is right. If we lose accessibility, we will lose the people.
Worship - how to get involved...
To be able to lead people during the service to a place where they can joyfully meet with God through singing or playing a musical instrument as part of the team.