On music and worship – part 2
How does our theology impact what we do during our church service?
Tenney writes this about typical church services, “God has this incredible idea that church is about Him. Our view tends to be terribly different. We often fashion and orchestrate everything in our meetings to please ourselves, so by our actions we show that we believe church is really about us.” A typical church service ought to focus on God, who he is and what he has done. It should provide opportunity for people to express their adoration, as well as their reverence for God. Stott sees worship as the church’s preeminent duty” and he defines worship as glorying or reveling in God’s holy name (Psalm 105:3).
A typical church worship service should also reflect that believers today are under a covenant of grace. The worship times of the early Christians were Spirit-led. There was a sense of newness and freshness compared to the repetitive rituals of the old covenant. Modern day Christians need to capture something of the gratitude and freshness of the new covenant. Many times in Psalms believers are exhort to sing a “new song” and learning new songs is one way of maintaining freshness. Contemplating Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is also vital to remain true to the church’s purpose.
Congregations are to be encouraged to be expressive in times of cooperate singing and taught the meanings of the words ‘worship’ and ‘praise’ but they must be free to express themselves in the way they choose. As part of our worship we are to also encourage one another to submit our whole lives to God in response to his mercy towards us. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1). As this is outworked in our lives there will also be a desire to serve others.