Don't Dumb Down Worship

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by HeDied4U, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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    With all the talk recently about "seeker sensitive" services, Rick Warren, and related topics, I found this article to be quite imformative.

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    Some churches will do whatever it takes to attract new people. But if they focus their worship services on people rather than on God, they're not letting people truly encounter Him.

    Here are some ways churches can design the type of worship services that help people experience more of God's presence:

    * Focus more on praising God than on seeking to meet people's felt needs. If a church becomes a place people attend because of what's in it for them, members become self-centered rather than God-centered. Help people learn more about God, and He will meet their deepest needs as they draw close to Him.

    * Include elements of different ways of worshipping God into the same service to give people a taste of God's fullness and enable all types of people to draw close to Him. Be evangelical, charismatic and sacramental together - preach sermons based directly on the Bible, invite the Holy Spirit to participate in worship and celebrate sacraments such as communion frequently.

    * Don't try to limit the worship service to follow a prescribed agenda simply to be efficient. If the Holy Spirit leads people to worship a few minutes longer than one hour, people should have the opportunity to respond. If God moves during prayer time and encourages the congregation to pray more deeply about something, they should be able to do so.

    * Don't hype worship services as simply upbeat times of celebration. While there should be great joy in genuine worship, there should also be opportunities to confront life's sorrows and seek God's healing for them in deep, honest ways. People need to know how to form a bond with God that will last them not just through happy times, but also times of suffering.

    * When planning music, seek to communicate the substance of the faith rather than to entertain people. Both contemporary and traditional music can present either deep or shallow messages. Pay more attention to what songs say about God than their style. Include music of different styles into the same worship service to speak to all types of people rather than polarizing them on the basis of their personal tastes.

    * Make sure worship helps people build the kind of character God wants them to have. Constantly ask how a particular worship service is revealing God's attributes to the congregation. Include time for people to confess their sins and ask the Holy Spirit to transform them more into the people God wants them to be.

    * Give people a sense of how awesome God is by worshipping Him with reverence. Don't portray God simply as a friend with whom people can chat; let them know that He is God of the universe as well.

    * Allow and encourage church members to help present the worship service. Be creative. There are many opportunities for people to contribute, such as by crafting pottery to use in communion, reading Scripture passages in dramatic ways and helping to produce bulletins or devotional pamphlets for each week.

    * Warmly welcome everyone from the surrounding community into a worship service. Work proactively to make sure that people whom society overlooks - such as disabled and elderly people - are noticed and encouraged by church members. Foster a sense of genuine community within worship.

    * Don't try to make people feel comfortable or even cozy in worship. Worship should shake people up as they encounter God's holiness, and incite a passion in their hearts to grow in holiness themselves.

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    Okay, maybe some of the ideas presented aren't entirely Baptistic, but IMO it still presents the idea that worship should be centered on God, not on man.

    God Bless!!

    Adam [​IMG]
     
  2. Tentmaker

    Tentmaker
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    The concept behind "worship" is unbiblical. This ought to be seen from scripture where we have no clear guidance or examples. Search the scriptures (New Testament epistles)! Other then singing (sparingly) a few hymns (God centered), we have no other instruction. The silence should be deafening. The problem is most worship, even excessive hymn singing appeals to the flesh. It should honor God. The primary purpose behind "church services" is to edify the believer, for ministry preperation, and for the salvation of lost souls present.
     
  3. Refreshed

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    Amen, amen, and amen. Welcome to the board. I think this whole "worship" thing is out of hand and outside the parameters of the bible. Let's uncomplicate it, sing some hymns, listen to some preaching, take the Lord's Supper, and not be "seeker sensitive."

    Jason
     
  4. Aaron

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    Ditto Tentmaker and Jason.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Doc Criswell used to say that about the only thing we did in our A.M. service that was "worship" was our giving of tithes and offering!

    Even most of the music we do is NOT worship of God. And Lord knows our PREACHING is not worship; it is often manipulative twisting to obey a set of rules or glorification of the preacher. Sad.
     
  6. All about Grace

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    So you are tossing out a philosophy of ministry similar to our Lord's??? :rolleyes:

    Should we be insensitive to seekers (which is the only other option)?
     
  7. All about Grace

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    Actually the article, while some of its points are valid, constructs many of the straw men others attempt to link to the more contemporary approach.

    We can all build definitive arguments against excesses and extremes. Balance is the key.
     
  8. Molly

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    Being biblical and God honoring is the key....dumbing things down is not something I am interested in doing...I want to elevate God,true believers will also desire for that....even new converts will desire for that....we do not have to *lower* God to make Him appealing to the lost.
     
  9. All about Grace

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    I know of no one who attempts to "lower" God or "dumb down" worship in order to "appeal" to the lost. These are classic straw men.
     
  10. Aaron

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    As Dr. Cassidy used to quote, "There is none that seeketh after God."
     
  11. Tentmaker

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    Amen Aaron!
     
  12. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Point?

    The term seeker is not intended to deal with the theological minutiae seperating the sovereign call of God and human responsibility.
     
  13. Refreshed

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    Point?

    The term seeker is not intended to deal with the theological minutiae seperating the sovereign call of God and human responsibility.
    </font>[/QUOTE]A church actually has several responsibilities, and by "seeker sensitive" I mean neglecting other areas that come before evangelization. First of all, a church exists to glorify God, secondly it exists for the edification of the body, thirdly it exists to prepare and instruct the saints to personal sanctification and to go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel to the lost, related to number two.

    The church should not be a salvation mill, and should not be afraid to touch on things that the body needs to hear in order to be more effective in their daily walk. Gimmicks run amok in many churches today to bring the lost in, and it ought not to be. It is in churches who focus primarily on evangelization that the meat of the word is most neglected (in my experience), and you have a bunch of Christian babies still drinking milk in these churches because of the overemphasization of evangelization.

    Jason :D
     
  14. Acts 1:8

    Acts 1:8
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    Please expand on that some more. I'm not seeing how this applies here.
     
  15. All about Grace

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    Agreed. Evangelism fits within an overall paradigm which includes worship, discipleship, ministry, and fellowship. Each of these are purposes must be kept in balance in order to sustain the health of a church.

    "Seeker sensitive" does not mean other areas are neglected.

    No qualms here. Each of these purposes are included in our overall mission.

    If a church is neglecting discipleship and spiritual growth, they are not maintaining the proper balance. I am not sure I would accuse a church of "overemphasizing" evangelism. After all Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. I would simply suggest that a church that is neglecting the other side of the coin (discipleship) is not a healthy church.

    I am sure there are churches guilty of your "shallowness" accusation, but for the most part the "no meat" arguments hold no water.

    BTW there can be an equally threatening danger in churches that focus upon discipleship and neglect the evangelism mandate.

    Making disciples is multi-faceted.

    [ January 09, 2003, 01:31 PM: Message edited by: SBCbyGRACE ]
     
  16. Refreshed

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    If the discipleship mandate is met, the church will evangelize. One of the purposes of discipleship is to equip members to spread the Gospel.

    One cannot say, however that if a church evangelizes, it will meet the discipleship mandate.

    SBC, I'm not entirely convinced that we disagree on this issue, however.

    Jason :D
     
  17. All about Grace

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    I agree one of the goals of discipleship should be to equip the saints to share their faith. I was reacting to my personal experiences with some who claim to be "all about discipleship" while their baptistry collects a lot of dust due to little or no use.

    If a church is evangelizing scripturally (with the goal to make disciples), it will meet the discipling mandate.

    Perhaps we are both responding to excesses.
     
  18. Aaron

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    Please expand on that some more. I'm not seeing how this applies here.</font>[/QUOTE]Folks are talking about being "seeker" sensitive.
     

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