Meet the Schoeneblogger

My photo
I'm the Schoeneblogger. Come on in, and have a look around. While you're here, you should join in the conversation. If you want to find out a little more about me click that tab below that says "about me." If you like what you read or want some of your friends to join the conversation, click the "share on facebook" below the blog. (same goes for twitter or google+)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Does God Feel Worshipped?

When it comes to worship, everyone seems to have an opinion.  What are the best songs to sing?  Should the emphasis be on congregational singing or should we highlight a special choir piece or a solo?  Is it more important to be relevant or foundational?  Do we attempt to be more creative even if it is not practical?  We throw around words like seeker sensitive, seeker friendly, relevant, creative, diverse and intentional all in an effort to present services of worship that people will "like."

Now, I will admit that I have also used these words and phrases in considering how to design meaningful moments within a worship service.  But I've learned that they are more appropriately applied as the second question we ask when we involve ourselves in worship planning, rather than the first.  The first question should look a little more like this: "God, how do You want Your people to worship You?"  Have you asked that question recently? Even if you are not the one responsible for worship planning, you are still a worshiper. Have you asked the Father; "How do you want me to worship you?"

Once we answer this question, the next after it can be; "Okay, now how do we do that in a way everyone can understand and identify with?" and "How do we help our people become the kind of worshipers the Father seeks?"

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
(John 4:23-26 ESV)

I realize that this is written as a conversation for worship pastors, or those who plan worship.  But, as a worshiper, I would encourage you to pray that God would show you what kind of worshiper He desires you to be. Let this request include your public and private offerings of worship. As a starting point, read Romans 12:1.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1 ESV)


Susan said...

Your words convict me. Sigh! I know that when I am learning His Word I am also worshiping Him by giving Him my attention. After reading your post, I am wondering how much attention I give Him in other things. Singing, yes. Praying, yes. In silence, yes. But how do I worship Him when there is chaos around me? This is a great post, Alden. I have some evaluating to do - Thank you.

jeff jamison said...

As someone who has been in ministry (most of it on the margins) for over 25 years, what I have learned is the reasons why the American church struggles with worship is that we no longer need God. The evangelical church is an incredibly homogeneous institution that has become a spiritual shopping center. We church shop for the church that "meets our needs". We are capable of providing for our daily needs and wants. We do not have to struggle or fight for our faith. And because of these things, we no longer have a need for God. We are self-sufficient and now just need God for our spiritual/emotional pat on the back.
Why do we need to worship that? We sing songs that tickle our ears and emotions and make us feel more satisfied with our already peachy life. Till we as church leaders create disciples and followers of Christ and not just believers, we'll always struggle with worship. We must be less focused on entertainment and more on discipleship. Good music/sermonizing can bring folks in the door, but without discipleship we are just entertainers. When disciples worship with their time, talents, and treasure, then we will see a change in corporate worship.
I know I sound a little bitter/angry, and I do have moments of that, but we have made church too easy, membership too easy. To pick up our cross and follow Christ should require sacrifice not just showing up.

Alden Schoeneberg said...

Right on, Jeff. That didn't read bitter to me! That is EXACTLY the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. The kind of worshipers who worship with their life - Spirit and Truth worshipers. If we have failed to offer our everyday-walking-around-lives to God, then our Sunday-singing-His-praises is far from "worshiping in truth."