Values For Corporate Worship, pt 6 October 27, 2014
This is the sixth in a series of columns I’m writing todescribe our goals and values for corporate worship. So far, I’ve said that wewant our worship gatherings to be God-centered, cross-centered, andScripture-saturated. We also value congregational engagement and culturalsensitivity. Two more this week: creative excellence and expressiveness.
Regarding creativeexcellence, we believe our worship should express the worthiness of Godmore than the worthiness of our worship. Nonetheless, we believe excellence andcreativity help worshipers behold more of God’s glory than shoddiness andmonotony.
Additionally,we believe our pursuit of excellence must be kept in balance, avoidingostentatious display on the one hand and mediocre half-heartedness on theother. Practically, the value we place on creative excellence means:
- We utilize musicalstyles and arrangements that draw attention to the song lyrics, rather than tothe music or the musicians.
- Our musicians,preachers, and other worship leaders prepare thoroughly and rigorously,intending to use their gifts to bring maximum glory to the God who gave them.
- We resist thetendency to settle into a single mold, desiring to reflect the resplendentdisplay of God’s own creativity.
Regarding expressivenessin worship, we believe our all-worthy God calls forth whole-personresponses. Worship requires us to be engaged with our whole person—mind,emotions, will, and body—at every moment.
We alsobelieve what we do with our bodies both reflects and informs what is going onin our heart. Sometimes our body responds to our emotions and thoughts; atother times, we must act with our bodies in order to stir up our mind andheart. Practically, this value of expressiveness means:
- We encourageworshipers to respond to God with all of their being, resisting the tendency toemphasize one aspect of personhood over another.
- We instructworshipers on biblical forms of expression, striving to conform our preferencesand traditions to the word of God.