At the end of choir rehearsal last night, we began defining the role of a faithful worship leader (as laid out by Bob Kauflin in “Worship Matters”). The matter of first importance in the church’s weekly worship gatherings is to magnify the greatness of God; not a reduced God, not a pop-culture God, not a God we invent to touch our felt needs or one we conjure up through the illusion of emotionalism, but a God who is awesome, holy, beyond comprehension; God in all of His greatness because, indeed, “…His greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:3) In short, we need to present and magnify God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture. Scripture gives us the telescopic view of God rather than a microscopic one (see Piper, “Don’t Waste Your Life,” ch. 2). In order for worship to be biblical and faithful, it must be guided by God’s Word.
So, as we prepare for worship this Sunday, and as we meditate on magnifying God’s greatness, I thought I would follow up with a few exhortations, as well as some Scriptures at the end.
- Magnifying the greatness of God corporately is only as authentic as He is magnified in me personally.
Worship begins in the heart and works its way out in our expression of it. Little, if any, eternal significance is registered if this is not in order. How is God being magnified in the meditations of your heart? Your thoughts? Your words? Does it authenticate your public magnification of Him?
- Volunteer ministry leaders aren’t responsible for the content of a service, but you are responsible for how you lead (and live) worship.
Your job is not to plan the weekly service. That is the task of our pastor, myself, and other paid staff, to a certain degree. You are not on the hook for that, but you do have to answer for your level of preparation in heart, mind, skill, and talent as well as your daily conduct and example of worship. Have you prepared before you arrived for worship? How faithful have you been in rehearsals and taking them seriously? How tuned in are you during a service? How do you magnify God when you walk off the stage?
- Always expect your pastor and church staff to make God’s greatness primary in worship.
We are a congregation, and pastors and ministers serve the flock. You should never settle for less from your pastors – wherever and whenever you are in life – than magnifying the greatness of God in every aspect of corporate worship. In every sermon, in every song, in every prayer, in every announcement. If not explicit, it should at least be implicit. Every time. Always. Graciously, lovingly hold us accountable.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!” (Romans 11:33) In the words of Kauflin, “How could anyone ever think worshiping God is boring?”
For further reading, here are the Scriptures I read last night and more: Isaiah 40:12-26; 46; 55; 59:16; 63:5-14; 65; 66