Great post by Kelly Wolfe about the need to have private times of worship outside of the church service:
Once we have positioned our hearts in that place with the help of the Spirit, humility and dependence should define our posture. When we humble ourselves before God, we humble ourselves to the point of being freed up. In humility, there is nothing to prove and no one to impress. We are just free to be who we are before God. In recognizing and confessing our dependence, we exercise trust before God – that he will see and know, and still delight in us. Intimacy with God is organically created within our “quiet times” when we come in quietness, humility, and dependence.
Perhaps this sounds great, but you aren’t sure what it looks like practically. For example, I love to write. When the right sentence makes itself known, I worship. When I am able to bring order to chaos by creating, I am imaging God and it causes my heart to worship. I also love to sing. Definitely in corporate worship with my local church, but I also try to intentionally and regularly make space to spontaneously worship God, the words flowing out of my heart from the Scripture I just read or prayers I have been repeating.
Kelly lists some concrete examples of using our creativity to worship God. Check it out here.
Mark McIntyre on motives, priorities, appearances, and worship:
I understand that worship of God is not as much about what we do as it is about who we are and what our priorities are. Do we love God enough to give him the best? When I ask this question, I do not have material things primarily in mind.
I find that the reason that I do not offer the best to God is that I am often more interested in looking good than honoring God.
This post was a great reminder that our hearts are so much more important than our appearances or accomplishments in our daily lives of worship. Check out the whole thing here.
Pamela Haddix reflects on Mary of Bethany and what we can learn about worship from her:
We only run into Mary of Bethany (Martha and Lazarus’ sister) a few times in the Bible. And interestingly enough, every single time she’s mentioned, she’s in the exact same place. And I firmly believe it’s that place that compelled her worship.
So before we talk about Mary’s worship, we need to look at what got her there. Because worship doesn’t just happen.
I had never really noticed how often she’s depicted as being at the feet of Jesus, but it’s a great insight into someone with a true heart for worship. Read the whole post here.
Pamela Haddix on how we worship in the hardest of times:
To quickly set-up the story (and if you know it, stick with me!), Paul and Silas were just doing what they do – casting out an evil spirit from a fortune-teller on their way to pray. (Just another day.) But that helpful move more than upset the men who were profiting from this poor woman’s affliction. So they seized the two God-proclaiming men, had them severely beaten and thrown in a guarded prison cell with their feet in stocks. Their pain is severe – physically and emotionally.
So what do they do?
In the midst of pain and suffering, do you choose worship?
Check out Pamela’s full post here.
Pamela Haddix shares worship lessons from a man after God’s own heart:
When I first started digging in the Bible to see what I could learn about worship, my first goal was to see what I could learn from biblical worshipers. And I was so blown away by that initial search, I couldn’t stop excavating the gold mine I had just found – as if I’d never seen any of it before!
And now, as I begin a blog series to unearth the treasure we have in biblical worshipers, how can I not start with David? That topic alone could be a huge, hard-backed, fancy-pictured, coffee table book – right? But for the sake of blog post etiquette, I’ll try to control myself. So let’s go!
Pamela lists ten things we can learn about worship from King David. Good stuff. Check it out here.
LaCreasha Ruffin shares what to do when it’s time to lead worship in a church that’s hurt you:
I can remember many Sundays asking God the question, “How can I minister to others while I’m in so much pain.” Church hurt is probably one of the most painful emotional states to be in, and one of the reasons I feel that I can write about this is because I have experienced it myself. My main issue was giving too much of myself. I thought if I made people happy, that everything would be okay. It’s typical to think that just because you serve in a church that people are always going to be kind, compliant, and Christianly at all times, but that is not the case. We all have problems and imperfections, and although I have the inclinations of being a people-pleaser, I am not a weakling. In fact, if you’re drowning in the rough waters of “church-hurt,” believe me, you are stronger than most. Here are a few tips that helped me reach to the surface, breathe again, and land on the shores of solid ground.
She lists three practices to remember when you feel like you’re too wounded to lead worship. Read the whole thing here. Good stuff.
I’ve led worship at two funerals so far. It’s never fun to say goodbye to someone, but praising God amid the pain can be tremendously powerful.
Graham Gladstone writes:
Eight months ago I transitioned from worship ministry to become the pastor of a small community church in Southwestern Ontario. In that time, I have conducted funeral services for three different people and those experiences, draining as they were, have had a powerful and formative impact on my life and ministry. I have gained insights that I wish I had known while doing worship ministry, so I offer them to you now in the hope that it will help you as you shepherd at all points in their Christian walk.
Graham lists three things learned from worshiping God as a loved one departs. Powerful lessons here. Check it out.
Pamela Haddix explains why we can’t really worship without God’s help – but why that’s okay:
I’ve got good news for the discouraged worshiper.
Everything you possibly need to be a fully engaged, passionately committed worshiper of God has already been given to you. Everything. Don’t believe otherwise.
Pamela provides a great list of things that God has already provided that equip us to worship Him. Read the whole thing here. Really good post.
Amanda Furbeck reminds us that worship leaders can’t neglect our own spiritual growth, and has some suggestions:
Ministry is busy – there is always something else to be done, a phone call to be made, a person to see, a song to write, a chord chart to practice, or a rehearsal to plan. But the work of ministry must be second to something else – our time with God. In my opinion, nothing causing ministry burn out faster than letting the busyness of ministry get in the way of growing in our relationship with Christ.
So the question is, how do we grow spiritually as a worship leader or person in ministry?
In this post, Amanda touches one of the most important ways a worship leader (or any church leader) can focus on their spiritual growth. Read the whole thing here.
From Branon Dempsey, a reminder that worship is a spiritual discipline that we need to practice:
I remember one Sunday in church with my family. The music was great, the preaching was superb, but in my heart I felt stale. In looking back through the week, my mind was wrapped around all the details.
I figured when Sunday came, I could somehow get into the spirit of things. Well, needless to say, it didn’t happen because my senses weren’t truly in-tune with God. So how was my practice time with God?
Here’s the fact: worship is not a sound system that we just turn on – neither is God.
We practice our instruments and warm up our voices, but do we practice being in God’s presence? Check out the full post here.