A faithful worship leader – and a faithful church – “magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully combining God’s Word with music, thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God’s presence, and to live for God’s glory.” (Bob Kauflin, “Worship Matters”)
It is important to realize that music is not worship; it is only a mechanism to express it, albeit a wonderful gift from God for the purpose of glorying in Him. Worship is not emotionalism or a well-timed key change. It is not a particular style. Worship is simply our response to God’s Self-revelation in His Word. Authentic, spirit and truth worship is Word-centered and Word-rooted. If we, as faithful worship leaders, want to lead through the power of the Holy Spirit, then our worship must be informed by and filled with the Word He inspired.
Ephesians 5:18 and Colossians 3:16 are parallel. To “be filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians 5 is the same as letting “the word about Christ dwell in you richly” in Colossians. They are interchangeable phrases that result in the same thing – that we “speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:17)
In other words, being Spirit-filled means being Word-filled. A worshiper doesn’t need music to worship, though a song in our heart is the natural outflow of the Spirit-filled life. As we are immersed in the Word of God, the Holy Spirit renews our mind by the Word, and we are filled with the Holy Spirit. And we worship. We are “transformed into the same image (of Christ) from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18)
The more you know Christ, the more you love Christ. The more you love Christ, the more you love the things that honor Christ. The more you love the things that honor Christ, the more you become like Christ.
So, how do we make worship Word-centered both personally and as a church? We treasure, sing, read, and pray it.
(individually) My goal is to value God’s Word more than anything else that occupies my time or thoughts.
(corporately) Everything we do as a church is to be guided by and saturated with Scripture – services, LifeGroups, committee meetings. Everything. I am thankful to be a member of a church where that is true.
(individually) Fill your life with songs that are Scripture-rich. And sing those songs to yourself throughout the day. An indication of a Spirit-filled life is that we have a song in our heart to the Lord (Eph. 5:19).
(corporately) We will continue to fill our services with hymns and songs that are rich in Scriptural foundation. Not only does it honor the Lord, but it edifies the church to sing God’s Word.
(individually) Read the bible daily. And read the entire bible continually. Note it, memorize it. Furthermore, come to worship as a regular practice. The Scriptures will be opened and explained, and the Spirit will apply them to your life.
(corporately) 1 Tim. 4:13 commands “the public reading of Scripture.” We will make it part of our weekly worship to read the Scriptures aloud and together. The Holy Spirit supernaturally blesses the reading, exhortation, and teaching of Scripture, and that is what we will do.
(individually) Pray Scripture back to God. Fill your prayers with promises and truths found there. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4) The expressions of our thoughts and desires should be guided by God’s Word so that His desires become ours; that our minds are renewed to the point that our hearts are attune to the Lord’s will.
(corporately) The same is true as individually. We are what we sing and what we pray. Worshiping in truth means praying the truth. God is honored and the church is strengthened when we pray according to God’s Word because God’s Word is powerful. That is why, for example, we dismiss our services with a Scriptural benediction or prayer of blessing. We believe the grace that has come to us in God’s Word will go with us as we depart.
We will be a people in whom the Word dwells richly. This Sunday will be no exception. Here is the service line-up:
Scripture reading – Psalm 27:1-6
“Thou, Oh Lord”
“A Mighty Fortress”
“I Will Not Be Shaken”
Ministry report from Jesus Is Hope Ministries (Jimmy & Diane Arms)
Song – “O Church, Arise”
Message – John 2:12-25
Response – Invitation & Offering