The Heart of Worship

ART AND HEART

[Note: This is part 2 of a 2 part series by Gail Hamilton. Check out part 1 here.]

So what is our motivation – what is at the heart of worship?

God deserves our praise!  We need to take time to just focus on our awesome God and give Him thanks and honor for who He is and for all that He has done.  He is not only the God of all creation, but He is involved in each of our lives. He reaches out to us, He loves us, He forgives us, He encourages us, and He does not give up on us!

When I look at the moon and stars at night, I can hardly believe that the God who created all this and holds it together, cares to speak to me and love me.  He often speaks to me through His creation and through music!  King David wrote these words in Ps. 8:3-4, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”

King David was an artist!  He was a musician and songwriter. When you read the Psalms he wrote, you recognize his deep feelings and emotions. You see, artists are usually more sensitive than non-artists. Artists often feel deeply and think deeply.  Artists are able to share with others who do not naturally feel as deeply.  When we start to realize how deeply God loves us, it is natural for us to respond and want to honor and worship Him.  At the heart and depth of worship, we are able to empty ourselves and focus on Jesus, breaking out of our pride, and our brokenness, and let Him love us and fill us with His Spirit, and then we can invite others to join us in this celebration!

Music is mentioned a lot in the Bible.  The Book of Psalms is a book of hymns or songs used in worship. Many instruments were used to worship God – some of those mentioned were trumpets, flutes, lyre, harps and other stringed instruments, various percussion instruments. There are examples of dancing in praise.  Some of the people that God gifted specifically in the arts are listed in the Old Testament– some were gifted to be skillful musicians and songwriters, like David, and Kenaniah – a great vocalist and song leader. There were groups of musicians and choirs that God appointed for worship.  Others were gifted in the visual arts and had a huge role in building the temple.  In the New Testament, in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 the early church is told to sing “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” and even the “new song”.  God is always creating and renewing and we can do the same through our music – with new tunes, new instruments, new beats, new lyrical phrases, etc.

It is not really your talent, but God’s talent flowing through you that brings you and others to the moments of true worship. It is not you leading others in a time of worship, but God leading through you and through the whole team in unity.

It is so amazing to experience God’s power working through a creative team of artists – where He uses us and speaks through us in ways we cannot on our own, and in ways that would not be possible if we were not giving him the Honor.  We get to experience His presence among His people in a collision of Spirit and truth!  It is not really your talent, but God’s talent flowing through you that brings you and others to the moments of true worship. It is not you leading others in a time of worship, but God leading through you and through the whole team in unity.

Servant Leadership and leading by example

So how is being a part of the CACC Worship and Creative Arts team different from other groups you may have been in?

Because being a part of this team involves giving honor to Jesus,

It is NOT about gaining honor or attention for yourself.

It is NOT about getting on stage to impress others.

It is NOT about showing off your talents.

It is NOT about comparing yourself to others to see who is better.   But….

It IS about using your gifts to honor Jesus.

It IS about working in unity with a team of other artists, all bringing their gifts together to create an experience where truth is shared and God’s Spirit is experienced.

It IS an incredible honor and privilege.

It IS about setting up an environment for others to meet Jesus.

It IS about being a servant leader….. Jesus showed us how to be a servant leader by putting God first and by loving others.

It IS about leading by example.  When we are going before God’s throne in worship, we invite others to go there with us.  And you need to remember that, as a leader, you are held to a higher standard of striving to live like Jesus. It does come with responsibility and privilege. It is about being real, about being humble, and about loving those you are leading.

The heart of worship is where we empty ourselves and focus on Jesus,  and let Him love us and fill us with His Spirit, and then we can invite others to join us in this celebration!

So let me leave you with some thoughts and questions again to “ponder”…

  1. On a personal basis, have we totally surrendered ours hearts and our gifts to Jesus for His glory?
  2. Being part of a this team, is there anyone that you need to encourage? We need to appreciate the amazing team we have at CACC!  Lets continue to take advantage of opportunities to encourage each other on a regular basis.
  3. Can you think of an extraordinary worship moment you have experience?  What were the key aspects of the environment, the music (or other arts) that may have been involved?  What made it so memorable?