About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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A Message To Musical Worship Teams


To begin, I quote Romans 12:1.


"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.


Our English word "worship" is translated from the Greek word "latreia."  Latreia implies acts of service, and as it pertains to Romans 12:1, means that our lives are to be offered to Jesus as a sacrificial act of service.  It's not just what we do that is considered worship.  It's who we are that is considered worship.  With this in mind, we often call a Sunday morning meeting a worship service, but there is no worship apart from a sacrificed life that extends beyond the walls of a building we, with no Biblical support, call church.  So, consider the following. 


I've been involved in musical worship teams since 1969.  In 1978 some of us were encouraged in one aspect of musical worship that struck a chord with us.  It concerns the skill of successful communication, a skill lacking in many of us that causes our worship to Jesus in song to be disjointed.  Here is what I mean.       


If Bob and John converse over coffee, they talk to each other in the first person.  Bob addresses John directly, not indirectly in the third person, as if John is not sitting across the table from him.  The conversation might go like this. 


"John, your home run was amazing," says Bob.


"Yea, I smashed it out of the park," replies John.


That bit of conversation makes sense because Bob and John are in each other's presence.  It would not make sense if the conversation went like this. 


"John's home run was amazing," says Bob to John as they sat across the table from each other.


"I'm glad Bob enjoyed me smashing the ball out of the park," replies John who shared the table with Bob.


That conversation makes no sense.  It's disjoined because Bob and John are sitting in each other's immediate presence, but talking as if they are miles apart.  We don't talk like that to each other, so why do we talk like that to Jesus in our time of worship in song?   


Our Sunday songs of worship often go like this.  We sing a song about Jesus, as in, "the joy of our Lord is our strength."  Practically speaking, we are singing that song to each other, not to Jesus.  The next song we sing may be sung directly to Jesus, as in, "You are our Lord."  The next song might revert back to singing to each other about Jesus, and back and forth it goes throughout our time of worship.  I find that confusingly disjointed.  I'm involved in two conversations at once, like talking to a friend and texting to another friend on my phone at the same time.  Whatever happened to undivided attention?       


I suppose it comes down to how you view worshipping Jesus in song.  When I worship Jesus in song, I sing directly to Him because we are in each other's immediate presence.  I suggest, then, that if we want to sing about Jesus, we do so.  The Bible does tell us to sing to one another, but once we start singing to Jesus, I suggest we don't leave the conversation by singing about him to each other.  It's just something to consider the next time you're in a meeting called a worship service.      



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