What is Corporate Worship?

lifted-hands

This post is a part of a series of posts starting HERE.

So, if the worship of Jesus includes the adoring, revering, being in awe with, having confidence in, and being totally satisfied with Jesus, what is corporate worship?

  • It is the worship of Jesus (worship)
  • It involves shared worship, or a shared experience (corporate)
  • It is intended for the edification of the body through the lifting up of our Redeemer
  • The singing and music is only a part of it
  • It is SPIRITUAL, meaning that there is more going on than just the repetition of prepared songs.
  • It is a common expression of ultimate truth

This doesn’t sound like a concert to me. Maybe there is more to the difference between performing bands and worship bands than it first seems. Our goal for Sunday services is to lead the congregation into something more important than a concert. If that’s true, then there is something more important needed from us than the quality of the music that we play.

There’s a passage of scripture that I think does a good job of conveying the ideas behind corporate worship. It is in Ephesians 5, and goes like this:

…be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Be Filled With the Spirit

When we are in a worship service, we are not relying on what we learned during music rehearsal. We are to be relying on the unity and the power of the Spirit. This is true if you’re Pentecostal or Presbyterian. Worship is something that is led by the Spirit of God, or it’s just not worship.

Addressing One Another

We are to address one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. This is a relational experience between believers. We don’t know who in the congregation needs to hear what our songs have to say, but I know there are countless times that the person sitting next to me in a service was ministering to me with their voice in phrases I really needed to hear. Our worship experience is for the benefit of each other.

With Your Heart

Our struggle in worship is not to sound great, but to be sincere, and sometimes that is struggle enough. Our preparation and encouragement to each other needs to be less about singing perfectly and more about meaning what we sing. Worship that is truly worship is sincere, from the heart.

Giving Thanks

Our worship is to be a celebration. There isn’t anything a believer has going on that will not eventually end up in victory, and that victory has been won by Christ. Just like the multitudes in Revelation 7, our focus is on everything we should be grateful to God about, and there’s enough of that to last an eternity.

Submitting Out of Reverence for Christ

Our worship contains an element of submission to each other, and in this context I mean submitting to each others’ gifts. When we submit our own musical contribution to the drummer, or the gal singing harmony, or the rhythm guitar, it is out of reverence for Christ. Why? Because He’s the One that gives the gifts.  This is a beautiful way to have the entire worship team grow fond of each other, because we can become more excited about what each other is bringing to the music than we are about our own contributions.

When a group of 300 people engage in corporate worship, it isn’t 300 experiences to 300 personal Lords. It is one experience that 300 people share in, where we are collectively lifting up the name of our One Lord as one body. There are not performers and attenders. Everyone is a contributor, and everyone is directing their appreciation in the same direction.

Doesn’t this sound like something better to be involved in than even the best concert?

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About Eddie Lovelace

I am a nobody. Or, rather, I'm a nobody who has all spiritual blessings because my life is redeemed by the work of the risen Jesus. He is everything I need. Hear that, heart?!? HE IS EVERYTHING I NEED!

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