Now that is a provocative title, but it isn’t original to me. It is the perspective of someone who has led contemporary worship for nearly thirty years.
What is the issue? The evangelical church has made worship all about having a “religious experience.” The lighting, the use of images on a screen, the use of smoke machines (or not), the songs themselves, and the way sermons are crafted are all about setting an appropriate mood so that God can be experienced in a real, emotional way.
But is this what God sets forth in His Word? Does Scripture ever tell us that our experience is what validates worship? Not at all. What validates worship is doing it in accord with Scripture and trusting that the Holy Spirit will work through the weakness of preaching, sacraments, and prayer to conform us to the image of Christ. Where does music fit in? For the most part the Protestant reformers classified it as a form of prayer.
Hebrews 4:11-12 reminds us that God’s Word is living an active, thus if we want a biblical encounter with the living God we must come to Him with and through the Scriptures. Our worship services are filled with God’s Word: We read it, we sing it, the Word informs our prayers, and of course the Word is preached. Hebrews 12:28-29 reminds us that biblical worship involves gratitude because “we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken.” Our proper response is to worship God “with reverence and awe.”
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To experience the bread of life in Word and sacrament, consider visiting our church. Sunday worship is at both 9:30 AM and again 6:00 PM.