Exploring worship

EXPLORING WORSHIP

Bob, Sorge. Exploring worship. A practical guide to praise and worship

(Greenwood, Missouri: Oasis house, 2001).

INTRODUCTION

Exploring worship is a book that is often used by teachers who teach music. It is not just a book that you read like a novel, but it helps the reader to practice what is being read. The author of this book is the director of music at the Elim Bible institute. In his book Bob takes his readers on a journey of how to be a successful praise and worship leader and how to get the people involved and not make them bored. Bob uses some guidelines that show effective ways musicians and music directors can use when they are singing or leading praise and worship during church services.

THE HEART OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP

Bob starts off by explaining that praise focuses on telling others of who God is and what He has done for them. Praising God does a lot of things to us, it helps us to grow more in God and we also learn that we should praise God during tough times. When we give praise to God in those circumstances, praise becomes a weapon and God will fight on our behalf and we will receive victory. Praise does not come naturally and it does not involve emotions, which means that we have to praise God even when we do not feel like it. If we wait for our emotions to praise God we will not do it. When are feeling down or low in our spirit praise brings refreshing and we feel uplifted. Praise is not and should not be a ritual or tradition, but it is spiritual and should be influenced by the Holy Spirit completely.

ENTERING THE PRESENCE OF GOD

Bob speaks of different ways we can use to enter the presence of God. Firstly, we have to keep in mind that God is everywhere and He knows and sees everything that means His presence is all around us.
Secondly, when we come together with other believer's He is present in our meeting. Thirdly, if the praise and worship team are deep in His presence God manifests Himself in different ways, through miracles and other extraordinary ways. Praise and worship is not only the responsibility of the pastors and the praise and worship team, but it is the responsibility of every person to praise and worship God. This is because no one will go into the presence of God for someone else, everybody must present themselves before God.

A WEAPON OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Several scriptures in the Bible speak of how the enemies of the children of Israel were defeated because of their praise to God. The Bible tells us of how Joshua defeated the enemy because he obeyed the command to tell the priests and singers to march around the walls of Jericho and to shout and sound the trumpets. Jehoshaphat also believed that God would give them victory and understood that praise that comes from the heart does something to God's heart. Therefore, Jehoshaphat put the musicians and the singers in front of the army and he knew that the real winners of that day were not the army but musicians.

WHAT IS WORSHIP

We have often defined worship to be communication between God and us, but in fact, worship does not have a defined description, because it is done in different ways and experienced by individuals uniquely. The terms praise and worship are not very different from each other, because some of the things people do when praising can are done during worship. Sometimes lifting of hands, dancing, crying and kneeling or bowing can be done during praise or worship. Worship is not only limited to one place, but can be done at any time even when one is going through challenging times. Therefore, character and faith is tested when we can worship God through difficult situations.

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WORSHIP

Without the Holy Spirit guiding us through worship, we can never experience the presence of God in full. It is very important for the worship leader to be in submission and to be very sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as He may say something at any time during worship. If the worship leader resists the Holy Spirit the worship is done by human effort and does not any impact on anyone. The Holy Spirit teaches us to worship in Spirit and truth as this is the way of worship that pleases God. The Holy Spirit knows the heart of the Father, therefore, he wants to show us and teach us the worship that the Father loves.

BECOMING A WORSHIP LEADER

Being a worship leader is not just getting up on stage every Sunday morning and singing five songs, but it is about setting an example to the people who are being lead. Even in the government there are different parties and each of those parties have leaders and the followers. The followers do whatever they see their leaders do be it good or bad. Therefore, the worship leaders must set good examples in their characters and should take part in everything that the people do in the church, like giving. That is the reason why anybody can worship God, but not everyone can be a worship leader, because one has to sacrifice their whole life to God's service. Worship is not a tradition and people should not be afraid to worship God as they are being lead by the Holy Spirit.

LEADING PRAISE AND WORSHIP

A praise and worship leader is a very important person in the church. If the church does not have a music leader everybody would want to lead and most of the time, this structure of gathering brings in jealousy and strife among the believer's. The praise and worship leader is not born a praise and worship leader, but he or she has to be trained and be taught some other things about leading praise and worship. Worship leaders must have their own personal worship times and must understand the heart of God through submission to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The worship leaders must understand what their responsibilities are in the church and must respect the position of the pastor as he or she is the shepherd of the church. Worship leaders must not seek self exaltation and must never speak of their role with pride but must be humble and willing to work with others as a team and must always encourage and lift up others. Lastly the worship leader must always be prepared, spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally, to write and sing new songs and not stick to one way of worship.

CONCLUSION

There are many things that a praise and worship leader must understand about praise and worship. Praise and worship is not just about singing, but there is more to learn. Being in tune with the Holy Spirit helps the worship leader, guide the church into an effective move of God in the people's lives. Preparation is important and if the worship leader is not prepared the service will be dry and people will not be blessed, but rather drained and the pastor will not minister properly. As a result the people will not be fed with the word of God that is how crucial worship is and should not be taken lightly. Worship is not singing a slow or fast song to make people worship, but it is about the attitude of the worship leader that makes the people worship.

[1] Footnotes should use 10 pt Arial with single line spacing.

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