Are We Worshiping?

I’ve been chewing on something for a few days now…and it’s uncomfortable.

Leading me to believe that I need to keep at it.
Someone came to me on Sunday, with kindness and humility, to say that they didn’t feel that our church was ‘worshiping’.  In their opinion, people weren’t connecting with the songs.  This person wasn’t seeing as much demonstrative worship as they thought would suit our gathering.
Their suggestion was that we returned to the way we used to do things; “Remember back when we first started and we did songs like ‘Shout to the Lord’?”
I try to appropriately filter everything I hear and read, and I prayerfully processed what I heard in the moment.  I wanted to receive it well, not to react personally; to listen and allow this person to be heard.  However, internally, I initially dismissed the comments.  After all, when is it ever good to “go back to the way we used to do things”?
But I can’t let go of a nagging suspicious that God wanted me to hear something.  And pay attention.
If you have comments, observances, insight or suggestions, I’m open to them.  Fire away.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. – Proverbs 3.7-8
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8 thoughts on “Are We Worshiping?

  1. although I L-O-V-E the music at PCC… I think the actual songs are irrelevant. What brings us into worship are the leaders of PCC who are clearly open to God’s voice… both musicians and speakers for the day. The ones who make it clear that God is open to ALL who will have Him…no matter how broken or bruised you are. Sure, some song’s words mimic verses from the bible more than others, leading some to believe that THEY are more “worshipful”… But for me,it is the idea that I am free to love Jesus during our services no matter what/where/who/how or why I am there. THAT makes any song worthy of worhsip. I’m just saying….

    (but as someone who is lead under you….I am proud that all opinions offered to you are taken to God…love you)

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  2. Coming from my perspective, the music is what led me to persue God, that feeling of connection. However, PCC, as you are well aware, is a church of so many different age groups, backgrounds, etc., that I’m sure it’s hard for you as the creative arts director to make a decision as to what would best create a connection with the Lord for the majority of attendees. But…not all people PHYSICALLY display their sense of worship, and that’s absolutely fine. So to make the assumption that our members are not worshipping could be a statement barely supported. PLUS- everyone has a different style of worship, even if it means dedicating that one hour every sunday to directing all attention on the praise of our God and the sermon.

    Whether straight from verses or written from scratch, if you commit your heart to absorbing the meaning and truth of the lyrics, then what does it matter? I don’t believe the use of a verse automatically makes it more “worshippy”. But hey, that’s just my opinion. And don’t get me wrong, the Bible is amazing!!! 😀

    Maybe people just need to look deeper into the meaning of the lyrics? Really put their soul into it? Connecting is a two way thing sometimes!

    Anyhow, that’s this girl’s view. LOVE YOU!

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  3. My intent is not to offend anyone, please, I want everyone who reads this to understand that I truly mean this from the heart. – Beth, one of my first thoughts is: thank you for being the loving, caring leader that you are. That even in a statement that could be taken personally, you go to the Lord, and seek His will. Thank you for being that kind of leader. – I have to admit, that my next thought is this: instead of paying attention to how others are worshipping, should we not be concerned mostly with our own personal worship of the Lord, “worshipping in spirit and in truth” – When those times come that my own focus may wander on what others are doing, I try to make a conscious effort to putting my own full and whole attention on God. – We all have different songs which mean more to us personally, than someone else. – Also, we each have different ways of being in worship, some more demonstrative than others, some may take a moment during a song to reflect on what God may be saying at that moment, or saying a silent prayer, and more things come to my mind. + In my own personal worship “style” you will very seldom see me clapping, because I have arthritis in my hands, carpal tunnel in my wrists, and it is painful for me to clap my hands. But God knows my heart, and knows that I am worshipping in my own way. – In the meantime, my prayer for you Beth, is simply that you continue to seek God’s will in the songs that you choose, and that you are able to hear clearly from Him. – A prayer that I also say for myself nearly everyday. Love you Beth!

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  4. -Straight Opinion-

    Sometimes we get so wrapped up into things(myself included) that we forget to notice the things God is quietly whispering to us ad naseum. Going back to the old ways is not always a bad thing(like the constitution).

    It seems like there is a hint of over analysis going on. That will eventually drive you nuts. Insanity is doing the same the over and over and expecting different results.

    That being said, go where God leads you. You have the gift of discernment that makes you a good leader.

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  5. Beth. I SO don’t know the answer to your questions! I have all the same ones!

    Truthfully, I think there are two things we can do:
    – be aware of changes over time in what we see happening in our congregation. This person’s observation might be that the physical responses during worship have decreased. But if you have many, many more people in the congregation who are not yet sure of their connection to God, that’s exactly what you <>would<> be seeing. So, the measurement points to something else entirely.

    -be prayerful in how we plan worship. be listening… responsive to where God leads as we do our work.

    Through what I know about you in this online way of knowing, I think you are fully doing the second, and I would bet you’re totally aware of the first.

    Good questions, and good reaction to a potentially frustrating conversation. You, as always, are my hero. 🙂

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  6. I think this is something that haunts every worship leader. OR should. We desire our people to worship – it’s what makes our hearts beat, after all!

    I think a conversation on this should not be centered around song selection though. I think it should be centered around asking questions about personal lives and also teaching about worship. Sometimes just the conversation is enough to make us aware that we’ve been coming to worship half asleep, so to speak.

    So I encourage you to have conversations – but not about songs, more about hearts!

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