Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Creating a Sense of Worship - Part Two

In my last post we began a discussion on how to create a sense of worship in a church service. You can read that post here. In this post we want to continue that discussion by addressing the issue of music. Though many people want to argue about musical styles and the types of instruments that should, or should not, be used, I think that is less important than the wording of songs that are chosen.

Many church services fail to help the worshippers connect with God because all the songs simply talk about God instead of talking to God. Worship should be a conversation with the Living God; not just state theological facts about God. Most of us would find it odd if we invited a group of friends over to our home for dinner and all the guests talked about us in the third person but never talked TO us, even though we were right there in the room. Whether a church chooses ancient hymns or modern songs, it is important that the songs allow the worshipper to talk to God, since He is the focus of worship anyway. Powerful worship does not just say “I will praise Him.” It proclaims, “I will praise You.”

It is interesting to note that some of the older hymns that are more of a conversation with God are actually coming back into popularity because the next generation has discovered that those hymns express a sense of awe inspired worship to God. For example, “Be Thou My Vision,” an old Irish hymn written by Dallan Forgail in the sixth century and translated into English in 1905 by Mary Byrne, has become one of the most beloved songs of the modern worshippers looking for a vision from God. There are many other hymns that worship minded musicians have taken and changed the pronouns from the objective third person to a more personal first person, thus addressing God directly and expressing their love for the Lord in a fresh way. Churches that are willing to select songs that either already speak directly to God or that can be converted into such communication with God will find it much easier to create a sense of real worship in their services.

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