Issue 41, Music, Worship

All About Worship

All About Worship

Worship is a regular part of our weekly church services. But have you ever thought about what worship really is all about? Here are the top four questions about worship that we’ve gathered from our readers!

“How do I worship God when I don’t feel like it?”
Aarksara: I’ll be one of the first to raise my hand and admit that I have had these thoughts go through my mind. I’ve quickly learnt that worship is a non-negotiable in our walk with Jesus. It is part of our DNA as followers of Christ. Worship is our response and expression unto God, in every season.

When we are under the weather and lose our appetite, we don’t feel like eating, but we know that in order for our body to recover, we need to eat and consume the right nutrition to heal. Likewise, we will have down times throughout our lives where we may not feel like worshipping, but we need to be anchored and remain in Him. John 15:4 says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Even when it is difficult, worship is our response to choosing Jesus no matter what may come our way.

“What makes a worship song a worship song?”
Isaac Ong: Growing up in church, I’ve always believed a worship song to be anything that was sung in church or any song with lyrics that had “God” in it. While that may still be somewhat true, growing more in God has helped me to widen my understanding of worship and what God truly desires out of my song.

God is not looking for lip service, or songs that just have an outer shell of “worship” with no heart of worship, void of devotion and adoration that comes from deep within. He desires that our hearts be not far away from the words that we offer unto Him, lest it be just really a so-called Christian song, rather than a worship song.

To me, what takes a song nominally about God to become a WORSHIP song unto God is the heart and posture of the worshipper. We have a tendency to focus on the outward appearance, but God always sees the heart. *Cue* “When the music fades…” [from “The Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman]

“How do you know if you’re cut out to be a worship leader?”
Jonathan Cho: Most of us typically begin with asking if we have the musical ability for this role, but perhaps this is not the most fundamental question. If we truly desire to lead others into worship through song, we would find ourselves disciplined to develop the necessary skill set. Leading worship always involves both the hard-ware (i.e., “hard skills” like technical knowledge) as well as heart-ware. So, what is it about the heart?

What is our truest desire? Would we worship Him in secret — when there is no platform or stage and no one hears our songs? Would we still lead others if no one remembers our names? We can only lead others to where we are prepared to go ourselves. Is it our heart’s deep desire for all to give God glory, to love and adore Him whilst we can be forgotten? Worship is never about the stage; it is always about the heart. Perhaps that is where we must begin.

“Why do we need to have worship as part of church service every week?”
Benita Lim: Singing together is a rich tradition practised by God’s people. The Israelites sang when they were in battle (2 Chr 20:21–22), and when they experienced God’s redemption and victory (Exod 15:1, 21). Together, they assembled to sing praises and laments from the Psalms on days of feasts. Jesus also sang in the upper room with His disciples when they gathered for the Last Supper (Mark 14:26).

In fact, God Himself sings (Zeph 3:17); Jesus is described to be singing praises to God in the assembly of God’s people (Heb 2:12), and Colossians 3:16 refers to songs from the Spirit! The same verse also tells us to let the message of Christ dwell richly in our hearts as we sing spiritual songs to exhort one another and in thanksgiving to God (Col 3:16; cf. Eph 5:19). Through singing together during church services, we experience and recognise God’s presence as one body of Christ, are taught about God’s Word with each song’s theology, and even encourage each other as we sing in harmony.

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