“No One Can Do It Alone” from Faith and Victory Church by Pastor Jay Alexander. Released: 2016.
“A House Divided” from Faith and Victory Church by Pastor Matt Krachunis. Released: 2016.
This is a question that’s been in my mind for some time – What is worship?
The word “worship” is used in many different ways in different churches. And it’s used in the Bible over 100 times. But what exactly does it mean?
While researching it I was struck by Psalm 66:4, which says –
“All the earth shall worship You
And sing praises to You;
They shall sing praises to Your name.” Selah
This is a common use of the word, to describe songs sung to God. And doing a little more research (I don’t know ancient Hebrew, but I can look things up), I found that the word for “sing” here can also mean to make music in general. In fact, the word may have come from the idea of striking, like with fingers on a stringed instrument. (So, those of us who sing and play guitar may have it covered both ways.)
I play on the Worship team at our church. When we play and sing, and the music is beautiful, it feels like an offering to the Lord. We are giving Him what we have, offering our best. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.
However, worship is not necessarily music, and music is not always worship. Many times in the Bible when the word “worship” is used it does not involve music. Even the verse above from Psalms 66 says to worship AND sing. They can go together, but they’re not the same.
The churches that I’ve attended in the past have all had music: they’d have a song leader, a pianist, maybe an organist and even a choir director, possibly a guitar player and sometimes people playing other instruments, and might have had someone like a Director of Music Ministries.
But this is the first church I’ve attended that referred to the people who sing and play music as the Worship Team.
I understood the concept, of course: of music being a significant part of the worship, using it as a gateway to worship. And our Worship leaders do a great job of leading people into worship through the music and the songs.
However, hearing the word used this way left me wondering what exactly it means. That brings us back to the original question, What is worship?
A little more research, and I found that “worship” in the Bible means literally to “bow down.” That’s a different way to see it.
To me, this means to put God in His right place in our hearts and our minds, and ourselves in our right place. As one of our pastors said, “He’s God, we’re not.” He is the Creator, we are His creation. He is Eternal and Perfect, we are mortal and flawed. He is Infinite and Righteous, we are limited and born in sin. (And so on, you get the idea.)
So, for us on the Worship team, we need to remember that we’re there to worship God, and be an example of worship to the people in the service, not just to play music or sing. The purpose is to worship, not just to make music. We need to be worshipping first.
Everyone on our Worship Team loves music: if not, we probably would have chosen a different ministry. All of us are talented, and have musical skill. That’s as it should be – God gave us the ability, and the opportunity to develop it. We are giving back to Him from what He gave us.
But we do need to guard against our love of music becoming the reason we’re doing it. It could be a very subtle thing: we should be doing our best, singing or playing to the best of our ability, because God deserves our best. However, if we put our concentration on that, rather than remembering that it’s to Him and for Him, we risk it becoming about the music, not worship. And ironically, I think we would find that doing it for the love of music rather than love of God will be less enjoyable, because we miss out on the blessings and sheer joy that can come from worship.
Sometimes we will find that God uses us to do even more than we are able. I know that there are times when playing during worship I find myself playing things I didn’t know were possible, or that I’ve never been able to do before. It has to be the Spirit of God supernaturally using my limited ability to do something greater than I am capable of. It’s amazing, and awe inspiring.
But the awe has to be for what He did in His power, and not what we did. That brings us to another temptation that we may face as well, which is to be proud. We may be proud of our voice or our playing, or of our talent and abilities, forgetting Who it was that gave it to us, whether it’s natural or supernatural. We might want people to notice us, to get the attention for ourselves, instead pointing to the One who created us. We’re losing our worship. Fortunately, God gives mercy and grace, so when this happens occasionally he forgives us and still can use us in the ministry. However, we can’t stay there, if we’re going to worship.
Sometimes, though, the pride could make a person completely self centered, and wanting the glory for themselves. They can become a “diva,” who has to have everything be about them, always get their way, and to be “front and center” in the limelight. It’s no longer about worship, or probably even about the music, but about gratifying and building up themselves. This makes me think of something I once heard a young man, a Worship Leader for his church say, “I try to remember that Satan was the Worship Leader of Heaven.”
Fortunately, I don’t believe anyone on our Worship Team is like this. I understand that it has happened on the team in the past, though, and have heard of it in other places. We need to be careful not to “think higher of yourself than you ought,” as the Apostle Paul warned. Anyone who serves in a ministry position that’s noticeable or up in front of people may face the same temptation: but we’re speaking specifically about ministry in music, where it requires some native talent and skill gained by practice – the temptation may be greater there than in some other ministries.
So, to sum it all up – music can be an important part of worship, but music itself is not worship. And it’s the worship that’s truly important, not the music.
And, finally, while you may not be a part of the “Worship Team,” such as a singer or musician, you still can worship God. As it says in Psalms 66:4, “All the earth shall worship You.” The next time you’re in a place or a time to worship, remember to “bow down”. Whether it’s singing songs or meditating on Him, raising your hands because He is greater than you or bowing your head in humility before Him, dancing in joy or falling on your face before in Him in awe and wonder, worship Him. In your heart and mind put Him in His place above you, because He is the great God and you are His creation.
That’s what worship is.
“Moses is Dead” from Faith and Victory Church by Pastor Crystal Krachunis. Released: 2016.
The other night I was sitting in our 1st Financial Peace University Class for the year, listening to Dave tell us why God says we need to get out of debt and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Saying a simple yes 8 years ago, deciding with Kasey that we did not want to live in debt any longer and we were going to do this plan, led to a simple yes a few weeks ago to go to Mexico on a mission trip and build a home for a family. As our team captain from YWAM Kara Bixby said, “Its not complicated, it is not a difficult decision, all it takes is a simple YES!”
Colossians 3:17 NLT And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Just 1 week prior to departure of our churches 1st mission trip to Mexico, one of the team members was unable to go. We were soon contacted to find out if I wanted to go in place. Over the past year of planning, I had been asked multiple times if I wanted to go. I declined time and time again. I did not want to take some one else’s spot who really felt God calling them on this 1st trip. Pretty funny now thinking back about it, how God knew all along I would be going! Now back to being asked 1 week prior to departure. What is funny, is when I was asked, it wasn’t money, usually the big thing, that was the issue. It wasn’t time off of work, ironically enough I had taken those days off months earlier. I needed a passport and we needed to find someone to watch the girls. Our amazing friends agreed to watch the girls and I was able to get my passport next day!
I don’t want to miss this opportunity to talk about the money. Kasey and I have worked hard to put ourselves financially in a place where when God puts something on our heart or an opportunity arises, such as this, that we can say Yes! 8 years ago, there is no way we could have afforded to say yes. Well, I suppose we could have, we just would have gone into more debt doing it. But I know God blesses obedience and that is what this truly was, a blessing.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NLT
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God….
So off to Mexico I flew, no expectations, no preparations physically, mentally or spiritually, just me. I had to trust God had prepared me for this all along. All along He really had been preparing me, I just didn’t know it! Because honestly for someone who really likes to things have planned out, thought out and run them over and over in my mind at least 50 times before actually doing them, I had so much peace in this. I felt prepared for whatever the weekend would bring and so very blessed I didn’t have time to think about it because it was a ton of fun just letting God lead the way.
Our mission team had a busy 4 days, traveling and building a home for this beautiful family. See the video below.
It was an amazing experience and so hard to capture with these few words. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in the community, humbled to be a part of this team of people doing amazing things for God. I am thankful God took me to a place and made divine appointments with people creating opportunities to establish new relationships and connections with people I would have otherwise never met. I am thankful to be in a place financially, to be able to look around and support those things God is calling us to support. I am grateful that God has taken my past poor financial decisions and turned them into something beautiful, something that can bless others, something that is far beyond what I could have imagined 8 years ago, something I could say yes to!
Isaiah 16:3 NLT
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness they will be great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
“You Have Been Called” from Classic Hits of 2016 by Pastor Matt Krachnis. Released: 0. Genre: Christianity.
“I’m Graced” from Faith and Victory Church by Pastor Jay Alexander. Released: 2016.
“What is Your World View?” from Classic Hits of 2016! by Pastor Matt Krachnis. Released: 0. Genre: Christianity.
“Sorting Out Your Legos” from Faith and Victory Church by Pastor Steve Dalton. Released: 2016.
“A Can of Jesus Crush” from Faith and Victory Church by Pastor Matt Krachunis. Released: 2016.