A Philosophy of Worship

AB1104sHopefully as Christians we understand that, according to the Bible,
‘worship’ is a whole life lived in devotion to God rather than just the musical part of a church meeting (‘the worship’) or even some slow ‘worship’ songs in contrast to upbeat ‘praise’ songs. ‘Worship’ is our response to something of worth (the root word from which the word worship is derived) – and what could be of greater worth than God himself?


Having said this, since we often use the word worship to describe one aspect of our meeting together, we as elders have been reflecting on our ‘Worship Philosophy’, that is to say what should worship at the Coign Church be like? This is what we have come up with so far. Why not have a read through it & see how it compares with your expectations and experience?

Worship

Corporate Worship should:

  1. … flow out of a whole life of worship & devotion to God in recognition that He alone is worthy of praise for who He is and thankfulness for what He has done through Jesus.
  2. result in the unifying of the church (through grace, patience and compromise) and in Christians being equipped, encouraged and inspired to more fully embrace a life of worship, service and devotion to God.
  3.  … be God-centred and Jesus-exalting through our meetings being saturated with Scripture and the Gospel, and through lingering in the presence of the Holy Spirit and knowing the Spirit’s love, peace, empowering and healing.
  4. be inclusive of all (regardless of gender, age, race) and reflecting the diversity of the church & local community, yet with a modern & contemporary musical style. We also intend that our meetings should have order and direction while also giving room for different types of participation:
  • Exhortations to praise (e.g. prayers, reading Scriptures, speaking in tongues with interpretation)
  • Contributions that shape the meeting (e.g. prophecy/songs) 
  1. be primarily for the benefit of believers and yet also strongly evangelistic, exposing un-churched people to God’s presence and the Gospel message while avoiding jargon and exclusive language.
  2. spring from preparation and quality, thus requiring skilful Meeting and Worship leadership that models joyful and intimate worship, sensitivity to God and the leading of the Spirit in directing the meeting and choosing songs; having a pastor’s heart with spiritual maturity and depth and having integrity in church life and personal worship. Musicians must be competent and humble remembering they are worshippers rather than performers.
  3. reflect the varied and changing life of the church by adapting to seasons of celebration, reflection, dedication and sadness, yet always being intimate, passionate and enthusiastic.
Adrian Birks, 25/06/2013