Worship is Not Filler

I was recently leading worship at an event where the MC announced to the congregation, “Make sure you arrive on time to our next gathering!  We’ll be jumping right into the thick of things and we won’t have any ‘worship filler.’” Besides struggling with my personal feelings of being devalued, I had to contend with my own willingness to get offended by such a blatant disregard for what should be prioritized rather than marginalized.

In our western culture, we often believe that the most obvious and impactful methods for communicating truth is through teachings and lectures.  While I strongly value the need to exhort God’s people and accurately teach the Word of God, perhaps we might consider that time spent listening and responding to God Himself in worship times could have an even greater impact on the Community of Believers to understand how to apply and obey the truth of God’s Word.

In worship, we are called to look past our circumstances and understanding in order to proclaim that God is God and we are not

When we engage with the presence of God in worship, we position ourselves to better understand and commit to obedience. Worship itself is an act of obedience that defies our selfishness and egocentric tendencies.  In worship, we are called to look past our circumstances and understanding in order to proclaim that God is God and we are not. We position ourselves to hear that the God we adore indeed has intense affections for us, and the more we understand the fact that He loves us, the easier it is for us to obey what He is calling us to.

It seems we tend to rely on our sermons to call people to obedience because we don’t trust that God Himself can call people to advance His Kingdom according to His design. Perhaps we rely on our eloquent speeches because we are convinced that listening to God is too difficult for the average believer, so therefore it is up to us to call His people toward action.

While these teachings and exhortations can and should be powerful, we simply cannot allow them to dominate all of our gatherings at the cost of diminishing or devaluing time spent together in worshiping at the feet of the One who promises that His faithfulness can be trusted because He indeed loves.  When we finally come to a place of revelation, where God’s love is personally experienced,  we can  then in abandon and gladness follow wherever He leads.

Are you interested in exploring this topic further? Join Kristy and the rest of our Worship Arts Department this spring for The Well.

The Well is a hands-on training and practicum program for worship leaders and worship musicians. This program is designed to challenge worship musicians by moving beyond simple worship sets towards a more integrated worship model that places a high emphasis on response to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Click the image below for more info and consider joining us this spring for The Well!


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