How Do We Model Corporate Worship?


This post is a part of a series that starts HERE.

Ok, so now we have a picture for what corporate worship is, but how does a worship band go about modeling it? It’s got to be complicated, right?  Nope. To model a thing is simply to do a thing. More important than anything else is simply the sincerity of the worship.

We Worship

The focus of the worship team should be worship. The decisions made during rehearsal, the decisions made about arrangements, the decision about solos, songs, moods, etc., should all have the primary goal of worship in mind. Where a performing band makes their decisions based on the need to better the performance, the worship band makes their decisions based on what best facilitates worship.

We Worship Sincerely

What the worship team doesn’t want to do is develop a set of techniques they can use to feign worship. Faking worship is about as bogus a thing to model as it gets. It is a metaphor for hypocrisy. If all the rehearsal time is focused on externals, this is what the team will come to. For worship to be sincere, everybody needs to have the establishment of gratitude and an adoration of Christ as a primary goal. If someone isn’t “feeling it”, they don’t fake it. They share. They pray. They live where they are.

This is probably the most profound difference between a performing and a worshiping mindset. The performer’s job is to put on a show. The worship team’s job is to be as real as they can be.

We Worship Jesus Sincerely

As a worship team, it isn’t enough to generate emotion or be a part of some general religious experience. Our sincere worship is only modeled in a way that is edifying when it is focused on Christ and His work on our behalf. The gospel is the central theme of our worship because the gospel is necessary for believers every day of their lives. He is our Redeemer, our Rescuer, our Righteousness, and the only way our weaknesses don’t eat us alive. We have the specific goal of walking everyone in the service to throne, and just like the Revelation 7 worshipers, this is effective only because it proclaims the victories of Jesus.

We Worship Jesus Sincerely with Each Other

For a number of reasons, our culture has become very unsocial. Even in the church, it has been easy to develop a “Jesus and me” mentality even in the middle of a worship service. Sometimes it feels like we could install cubicles among the pews and few would know the difference. This isn’t intentional, either. We’ve just become a more intuitively private culture.

This is something that the worship team should take head on, in my opinion. The worship team needs to be seen being interested in each other, noticing each other, and loving each other. If genuine relationships exist on the team and are evidenced by behavior that includes others, the congregation may catch the bug and be less inclined to withdraw into their mental cubicles in the worship service.

We ENJOY Worshiping Jesus Sincerely with Each Other

Ok, now here’s the deal. Where did the non-emotive face thing come from? When did smiles vanish, and when did we stop looking at each other? Is this a direct result of album covers of the 80’s and 90’s, or what?

When I read Revelations 7 I don’t get the sense that the people there were fulfilling a dutiful obligation without any emotion and only because they had to. They were excited. They were exactly where they wanted to be. They were loving their King and happy to be there together. If we don’t feel this in our hearts on Sunday, then we’re missing something. If we model this, then we are modeling in the Spirit of real worship.

Our Modeling is Giving Permission

Finally, the reason we say that a worship team is modeling worship is because they are providing the expected example of the mindset and purpose for those in the congregation. If the worship team evidences loving Jesus, they have given permission to the congregation to do the same. If they evidence friendliness, an interest in the service, or joy in singing, they are establishing patterns that the congregation will imitate.

One thing in this area that I’ve observed is that whatever the worship team does, the congregation will do, but less. The worship team is setting the upper boundary, and most of the time the congregation will follow them somewhere less than that upper boundary. If, then, you notice that the congregation stares at the ceiling, ignores each other, seems disinterested, or is otherwise inhibited, you need to look at the worship team first and see if that’s the limit that they have set.

So, am I all wet? What do you think?

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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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