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Home » CHFWeb Forum » HotTopics » Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll
Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll [message #534305] Fri, 15 May 2009 14:33 Go to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
Messages: 9592
Registered: April 2005
Location: Small Town New Hampshire
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The What is Worship Poll[ 32 vote(s) ]
1.Worship always involves music to me 4 / 13%
2.Worship sometimes involves music to me 12 / 38%
3.Worship often involves music to me 10 / 31%
4.Worship never involves music to me 0 / 0%
5.Something else 4 / 13%
6.Some combo 2 / 6%

What is the connection between music and worship to you? Here's a poll...

In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll [message #534323 is a reply to message #534305 ] Fri, 15 May 2009 15:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
MicheleB  is currently offline MicheleB
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Registered: July 2006
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I didn't read the other threads on this, but I was thinking this morning as I was driving somewhere and thinking of the Third Day son, "God of Wonders" how music like that is VERY worshipful for me. Much of my worship is done through music, but I am a musical person and it's meaningful to me. I know some people who don't like music and it means nothing to them and that's not their experience.

I think it would have to vary by person and I don't see anything wrong with worshipping through music or NOT worshipping through music.Some people worship out in nature; some people through meditating; some through certain books or devotionals, etc.

I enjoy seeing sunsets and sunrises, but for me, worshipping in nature isn't "my bent." I'm usually thinking more about the bugs, the heat or the cold. Wink But good, worshipful music that really focuses me on God and Who He is.... Ahhhhh.... Smile

Re: Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll [message #534364 is a reply to message #534305 ] Fri, 15 May 2009 19:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
Messages: 5476
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I used to worship a lot with music, but not so much now. I have other ways. Music can be a little "passive" in the sense that I'm just listening to it - if I'm singing that's different, but we don't have any musicians at church at the moment!

Your sister in Christ,


Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll [message #534464 is a reply to message #534305 ] Sat, 16 May 2009 10:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 4121
Registered: April 2005
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I voted "something else" and I hope I can clearly articulate my reasons.

As a disclaimer, I do not typically express myself in worship through music/singing. I do not identify [Christian] music as worship. I see music simply being one of many tools, an instrument if you will, in which we can worship...but it is not worship itself.

I believe that worship, true worship, is obedience to God, in praise and thanksgiving. I believe that worship, true worship, is not directed to the people in the congregation or out there in radio land, but to God. I've been blessed to have worked with some of our nation's most talented and prayerful worship ministers in purely an administrative function. I was one of the few faces which would be a blur to them, and my name would never register. I was the administrative assistant for a theological studies satellite campus for Wheaton and also served briefly when Dr. Webber made IWS it's own animal. I learned a lot, and was inspired to focus, and reconsider what worship truly was by my fly-on-the-wall position. I will laughingly say that it also crippled me in being able to ignore and/or enjoy music in a worship setting that is about the leader or the ego of the players, or the presentation and selctions for the people rather than raising up to God. Sometimes noting such distinctions is subjective, yes, because we don't know everyone's heart (and I think it is a dangerous thing when we attempt to say we do) but there is also spiritual discernment and at times, behind the scenes demonstration of such mindsets.

I do not believe that music should be used to manipulate for the good or the bad. It shouldn't be a preaching tool, in otherwords. Preaching is an instrument of worship itself. Music shouldn't be the point of education...and while music can "sooth the savage beast" I don't think it's purpose should be to sooth ourselves. I think, when done properly both in attitude and song/music selection, a proper position of a believer in praising God and in thanking God (be they leader or in the pews unable to carry a tune) will be able themselves to think upon God's awesome power and gift of salvation and become ...what's the word...reenergized/revitalized/reanimated/...strengthened and encouraged to fully rely on and live their lives with God in their present day and in the times to come.

I do not agree that good music or good leadership or good preaching or good, well, any expression, elicits a reaction from the listeners or that the proof-is-in-the-pudding way of saying a leader has been blessed or anointed. There were plenty of people, scripturally speaking, who were right with God, even anointed, who had a heck of a time convincing the majority. There were plenty of charasmatic individuals who had throngs of followers also. I think that the whole idea of judging a leader is askew...it's how WE [individually] pray that shapes us, no matter what instrument we use in that worship.

Re: Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll [message #534506 is a reply to message #534305 ] Sat, 16 May 2009 13:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mary Jo  is currently offline Mary Jo
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Location: Tepic Nayarit Mexico
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I think I agree with all that you wrote. You are a bit of a philosopher and I am not so I can't say I understood all that you wrote Wink It's not you it's me.

Please do not be offended by this but I think because you do not have a passion for music you have come to some different conclusions than those people who are motivated by musical worship. That is OK for you and I am glad you have found other ways to worship. Really we should all have many expressions of worship in our lives.

I totally agree with you that music by no means is the only form of worship and it is good for people to understand that. Worship is so much more than a good song.

However music does provoke a lot of emotion in people and I think part of worship does involve our emotions. If music does not do that for you that is fine. It is possible for God to use music or a leader to provoke people to dance in joy or weep in the midst of his glory. The right song at the right moment is key and a leader needs to know how to flow in that.
We do not want all of our worship to be emotions. Sometimes worship is all about just obeying and even when we do not feel it we need to more than ever worship however that may be expressed is great.

Should the glory or focus go to the person or musician leading? It absolutely should not but in our human nature it does!
Also somebody who is an accomplished scholar, preacher or teacher or musician is worthy of a little recognition in my opinion.

God loves all of our voices even if they are off key but if a talented singer perfects his/her craft I am going to really admire and encourage that person to continue to do so and grow more in that skill.

If a preacher or teacher studies and gets awesome insights I am going to grow in God too and grab onto what that person is saying and admire the time he prayed and studies to present his material.

So here is a question for you... Have musicians or singers made you feel like you are inferior?

I'm just wondering if some of your thoughts are coming from a hurt you have experienced.

I may be way off in left field... I do not know. I seem to be in left field a lot lately Confused

I have way to many things on the burner and since I'm taking a class online CHF distracts me and I procrastinate by coming here Laughing

Re: Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll [message #534570 is a reply to message #534305 ] Sat, 16 May 2009 21:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
elliemaejune  is currently offline elliemaejune
Messages: 1219
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"Music" and "worship" are not synonyms for each other. I can worship without music. I can worship with music. It doesn't matter.

Born again since 1974
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mom to 2 amazing grown-up dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 beautiful baby boy

A kitten dies every time you use an apostrophe to pluralize.
Re: Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll [message #534705 is a reply to message #534506 ] Sun, 17 May 2009 18:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 4121
Registered: April 2005
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Mary Jo,
Before I go headlong into fleshing out the music/worship connection, I want to assure you that, no, I am not offended. Yes, you are certainly correct...since I'm not as taken with music in general, I wouldn't and perhaps can't relay as someone who is. I can't say that I've been hurt or injured that has produced these thoughts...I don't see my thoughts as negative, and have had a lot of what I see as this clarity given to me by those in worship leadership positions. Having said that, in the present I *am* difficultly dealing with an individual who is in P&W and who, in that capacity, over two of my teens. My difficulties began as a character clash - but soon the traits I saw as inconsiderate began affecting the teens in the realm of P&W. I suspected a reasoning, and tried to counsel patience in my children and had to correct some of her teaching (philosophies, so to speak) in private to my children. It was revealed to me last week that the issue was boiled down to having an identity in the position and having a judgement in style being worship - so that another style was not recognized as worship, and as a result, those involved in that were talked down about. Enter mother bear. As I mentioned, I don't see my defining of worship as a negative - but I will definately take into consideration that perhaps my strife seeped into my tone. It would not be the first time, LOL. The woman and I have spoken this weekend, and I have pulled back on some areas that I think are just too emotional for her, and have stood firm in other areas, to which she apologized and we're mutually agreeing to learn about one another's communication style. I *think* we've entered into a win-win territory. We might never be friends...but I think we are ok. Let's see if that reflects in my music/worship posts from now on. Laughing

Re: Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll [message #534711 is a reply to message #534305 ] Sun, 17 May 2009 19:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 4121
Registered: April 2005
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There's a plethora of similar sounding threads, LOL - all equally interesting with plenty of gifts for thought. My answers intertwine so much, that I think this thread's question, "What is the connection between worship and music to me?" may be easier. I only wish CHF had a "save draft" feature, LOL. Short answer - I believe music is not worship, but that music is a tool/instrument.

I think that perhaps I'm dealing with three issues of which I have difficulty separating in conversation. First is the question of what is worship. The second would be what is the litmus test for true worship. The third would be, what role do my feelings play in the act of worship. I'll do my best to stick with answering those questions to show how I see music falls in with worship. For the sake of clarity, my discussing music limits itself to that which is a product of faith to God's glory. This speaks to the music's purpose and not tempo.

Here's my thinking. To use an imperfect example, worship is more like a prayer than a sermon. In prayer we are speaking/listening with Someone. In a sermon we are speaking/hearing about Someone. The prayer is engaging, and worship calls us to engage. Notice that I'm saying the call is an action OF worship, but not worship itself.

I am guessing that if I'm engaging with God as a leader or a congregate (or parent for that matter) then I should not also be busying myself trying to force you to engage with God(which implies pitting my will over yours or to manipulate you). I believe that it is always God who initiates His presence, I believe an effort-centered plot(not the same as planning an orderly service)to create or illicit a specific response is to deny free will and a grace-filled relationship. Additionally, I believe expecting a leader to provide us with a humanly satisfying performance as worship is to ask them to construct a motivational or entertaining service with a particular audience in mind. I think that is both unfair and distracting to their ministry. This places upon them a burden to manufacture A-ha moments for the intellectual or feel-good moments for the emotional. It also lays snares for them to think that they hold a power or a burden that they just don't have. I also think that they shouldn't be worried so much about me...the Spirit has that covered. If they will just worship God, the Spirit will catch me up at the timing and in the manner He has for me. I have experienced times in certain services when the leader or congregates are so into forcing visual "proofs" of my worship, that my actual worship was squelched. Other's on the other music boards have given similar testimonies.

Our worship exalts God but does not add anything to His glory. He's glorious all by Himself. The "tools" as I've alluded to earlier, express our celebration and experience of God in the praise and thanksgiving we offer. Those "tools" can be a variety of vehicles: study, architecture, dance, speaking, music and song for example. They all involve the mind, emotion, the body and all it's senses. Each of these vehicles (we've primarily focused on music as our example) can still be more varied in our different cultures/tastes/even periods of history...but Worship doesn't embody those traditions...it is His story. He is shaping us into the image of Messiah, to give our lives as an offering by dying to sin and living a new life in Spirit. My belief is that we often confuse that fact by selecting a tradition (or DEselecting a tradition altogether) and using that for a substitution definition of Worship. Then, we will make that man made definition the standard by which to judge all other tools/vehicles (methods) of worship. I believe that the acceptance of this wrong definition...this wrong standard...is one method which causes division and puffed up hearts among believers.

All the tools and vehicles combined have one thing in common: they help us to approach God, to be in communion with Him...but they themselves are not the communion. By extension, when we physically worship with one another, we serve one another: we taste the fullness of the body of Christ. Now, with the risk of switching the angle to us rather than God, I do understand that there are some vehicles that, shall we say, move us individually faster than others? Or are more comfortable? Familiar? Preferable? If the instrument/tool for worship is music, then the vehicle most effective for me is the scriptural few words type. It's what I would prefer to have in a church service. My friend, however, enjoys the lingering repetition of a select line or word within a song and would prefer that to the exclusion of all others. Both can be GREAT expressions, but they don't often share the same service. Other than holding a few "special" presentations, I haven't been to a church that incorporates both routinely in one sitting. I'm sure that there are reasons for this, but I believe that keeping them isolated can create a form of worship legalism by breeding the idea that one form is more intense, more true, and therefore more acceptable to God. And I say this as someone who really doesn't "get" some expressions.

With my kids, when the youth host the P&W, I've encouraged them to blend the various types together...but giving some preference for the church's current traditions. Typically they'll select an old hymn, a modern song of their generation, and a couple of contemporary songs that the church is used to as the norm. I've been delighted to see in their own garage band (of which the majority of the youth from the P&W are also a part) to discover that they are creating something that allows these seemingly clashing styles mutate into one. This is a much different experience than listening to different types/styles of music in one sitting. I'm excited to see if they will continue to draw from the springs of God's Word, or if they'll feel led to conform to a worship model.

This isn't to say that the tools and vehicles can't be abused. Nor does it mean that there won't come that which disguises itself and claims for itself the title of authentic expression. We are told in scripture that God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. In that sentence, I'm focusing on the words "must" and "in". The word "must" (I believe) defines that whatever "in" means is necessary to even qualify as worship. In taking what I understand the context of the whole of scripture to be, the word "in" is very verb-y. It can't be routine [mundane, ho-hum, can do in my sleep]. The context of that piece of scripture (John 4:21-22) was based on two different but very specific traditions of teaching which called themselves worship...one was technically correct in teaching, and one wasn't...but NEITHER of them mattered because NEITHER of them WERE Worship. Getting personal for just a moment, I have a vehicle by which I often find myself in the presence of God. Mine is study - primarily the written word - rather than music. Everything I've stated as benefits, snares and problems to do with music is equally present for study and those who study. Study can also get to be routine. If I am not careful (and at times I've fallen) I lose the inward change. The change in those moments, can bring me credit/praise from others for my abilities and observations, but I'm not by any means being circumcised in the heart, in the Spirit. I can deceive myself and others by ceasing to be a doer of the Word. One of the points in James 1:25 is that we must be doers. A doer of His Word is obedient.

In speaking of leaders, for example, I don't think giving credit is the correct term. I think that the term is a helpful one, but misperceived in detail. I think absolutely we need to respect the position and the individual. I think that too often the audience stops short and gives credit to the leader (music leader, youth leader, preacher, what have you) because of tangible results or the charismatic. Most leaders, while humbled, will quickly point out that they deserve none of the credit. That belongs solely to God. It might be the biggest damage we or leaders can bring upon ourselves, to believe that we are worthy of credit or some equal honor. When we acknowledge God instead of the great orator or the cool-hip youth leader or the reflective music director, or the streetpreacher stylized as a rebel with a cause...I think that He knows we will not be lost when we look at the glory of a man. First Samuel 16:7 shares, "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." Having said all the above, I'm not dismissing God's demand respect for people in their ministries - I hope that that is kept in mind.

I'm not sure how to wrap this up, exactly other than to say that a check to knowing if one is worshiping or not is to ask yourself, "Am I led to live my life in obedience to God?" I'm sure I've muddled this quite a bit...but it's time now to make dinner for the family and take care of some things I've neglected around the house. I've really enjoyed reading the various posts as of late, although I haven't participated as much as I've been tempted (just not having moments of brain clarity over here...I need sleep).
Peace, everyone.

Re: Bunny Trail from Music Worship in the Church: The Music/Worship Connection Poll [message #534852 is a reply to message #534305 ] Mon, 18 May 2009 11:06 Go to previous message
Eve  is currently offline Eve
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I voted some combo because it just depends on the Lord. Very Happy Some days the Lord speaks to be heavily in music, other days he speaks to me heavily in the Word. I love to turn on the worship music and dance away or just listen on bad days. It lifts my spirit every time. But I have to have the word as well. I can sit and study the Word for hours and be so uplifted that it is more than music to me. It just depends on what the Lord has prepared my heart for on that particular day.

I believe worship is more than just the teaching of the Word and music as well. I believe it to be in everything we do. After all, we were each created to glorify the Lord every day. When I bless someone I am worshipping the Lord in service. When I testify, I am worshipping the Lord by bringing glory to his name in outspoken testimony...etc. When I treat my children with love and gentleness, I am again worshipping the Lord. Now, I may not be feeling the worship. But worship isn't about feelings. It is about serving and blessing the Lord in everything we do, whether in fellowship with believers in Bible Study, or listening to a sermon, or singing worship to the Lord in unity, or just in day to day life with our family.

There are moments of silence in nature with my journal, that the Lord also talks with me and shows me his love, and I will worship by writing out and thanking the Lord for his goodness and provision through beauty. There is so much to learn about the Lord just in his creation!! There are so many analogies to his love for us!! (I am not meaning worshipping NATURE.. I am meaning worshipping the CREATOR for the way he speaks to me through nature.)

I also believe that different personalities with different "love languages" are going to feel closer to the Lord in different ways. Music has always been very important to me. I dont' know how many times I will break into song while reading the word, even.. whether it is a song I am reminded of, or a song that God just gives me I make up in my heart.(NO, I am not a song writer, or considered myself one, but it just happens.) Sometimes my worship response is through my journaling.. in poetry or writing out what He is telling me.
For others, service may be stronger. Know what I mean?

We have a time of meditation in our church in which we are to listen to the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit prompts you to stand and share something, you are to stand and speak. We also have a time of praise and sharing testimony where the Mic is passed around for you to share if you raise your hand. We are also allowed, if the Lord lays something extremely on your heart, to even interupt the Pastor. This is a very very very RARE occassion.. but sometimes it happens when the Spirit moves. He is really a gentleman.. the Holy Spirit isn't chaotic or doesn't interupt in a RUDE manner when this happens. (ha... nor does he make people say or do stupid things.)

Interesting poll!
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