Full Version: Where has worship gone?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Where did the days of deep spontaneous worship go? Did God's wave of times of worship go away and if so why or did we as his people decide it was too much work to prepare for worship so let's just go back to what always was. What are your thoughts? We'd love to hear from you.

How can we as pastors, musicians, actors, artists work together to bring us all closer to the King and who he is and give him the honor that is do him
Is it the idol of the clock? The tyranny of time? The onus of the oven's siren call to lunch?

Deep soaking times of worship, times of exquisitely high praise where lives are changed for eternity and Father has opportunity to sit with us and expose things that need to be polished to a higher gloss and things that may need to be rooted out or just healed?

I miss them, too, but find that folks are not willing to commit the time to get there or the energy to participate, sadly. Still looking for a people who really wants that aspect of intimacy with Him.
We can get there sort of in our alone times but God is one who likes community. As a pastor, I pour out and need that filling that comes in worship. After 15 years in the pulpit I have never been able to get folks to be willing to stop running long enough for a truly intimate relationship to be established in the sanctuary. That relationship is fed in our alone time but it is exponentially expanded as we worship in community. Papa, show us how to bring others with us. Show us how to model what we know to be true so that others would capture the hunger for being in your presence. Your word is clear about your desire to be with us and the incredible blessing that comes when we spend time with you. Do whatever it takes to bring us into alignment with your will today. Help us not use an excuse for our laziness and bring back our thirst for the refreshing that comes when we have spent time with you. Empower us to teach and model your desires. Open the windows of heaven so we might sing with those that surround you in worship and holiness.
I think this is a place where that word "intentional" is applicable.

If we don't purpose to spend that time basking and waiting in His presence, it isn't just going to come upon us as a delightful surprise.

That kind of relationship takes effort, and planning and prioritizing. And you have to decide to do all those things. So I guess the question is, why isn't it a priority? Or a more frequent one?

Does it possibly have to do with the loss of our first love? We all know the heady emotions of a new love...the longing to be with the object of our affections every possible minute. We scheme and plan and move heaven and earth to spend that time together. And weren't we like this at the beginning of our life with the Lord? Those times of fervent corporate worship with others just as infatuated with Jesus as we are can be exponentially more intense than our alone times because we are experiencing His love as a Body.

But mmitch is right that those corporate times seem to be less frequent now...at least in the reports of them.
<QUOTE author="mmitch47,Jun 2 2009, 04:19 PM">
mmitch47,Jun 2 2009, 04:19 PM Wrote:How CAN we as pastors, musicians, actors, artists work together to bring us all closer to the King and who he is and give him the honor that is do him
I think this is the 64 bazillion dollar question.

Some of the arts folks, especially in what some have called seeker churches, have tried to make the worship experience as rich and varied and, well, habit forming! Big Grin Every week was a new experience. New skits, new songs, new arrangements, new, new, new, new. The whumping up of addictive stuff does nothing to build relationship. If the relationship is solid, whumping up is not needed! And beside that, it did not work. No lasting fruit, no real spiritual growth. Most who came did not stay and of the ones who did, most stayed for the show but did not get much involved in the spiritual side of things. That's from the things I've read by some who've gone that route. Not saying it was a scientific study or anything, just reporting what others have told me about their own experiences.

How do we exhort, how do we present the Truth, how do we offer what we know? We did a series of four extended worship times several years back. I felt strongly that Father was wanting me to make this available. Talked with a local pastor (3 blocks from home local!!), and had a couple of his selected intercessors praying with me for the four particular Saturdays, four hours for each event. Did some advertising, did some phone calling, had a couple of other musicians whose spirits I trusted to help provide four hours of soaking worship. Invited a few dancers and movers. Created a different fabric hang for each of the services. Four totally different tones to the settings.

For the four services, we had a total of 4 of the pastor's folks actually show up, including the two intercessors and about 6 others over the four services, none from our own congregation. Not many willing to come and soak. Pastor was there 3 out of 4 and would have been for all but there was a death in the congregation on the one he missed. We left the hang for the services on the Sundays after the Saturdays and there was a profound impact on the congregation. Pastor & I both knew that while the fabric was impressive, it was the hours of time in His presence that set a spiritual atmosphere in the place that took the breath away on Sunday mornings. He experienced more confessions of faith on those Sundays than he had in years. Deliverance from besetting sin, exposure of some really, really dark stuff that had been lurking but could not lurk any longer, and a release in honest, deep worship in his congregation that had never been.

How CAN we instill, impart, or evoke that kind of "wanna"? The gut-tightening, heart-sick level of wanna that makes other things pale in importance? Even people who have experienced it are too tired, too over-committed, too SOMEthing to make an effort to even WANT to be involved that way.

Oh, Father, what is the secret? How do we turn their hearts toward home? Show us the way, oh Lord!
Just got the book The furious longing of God... I have not begun to read it yet but hear it is a doosey. I am almost afraid to read it. What is it going to require of me? God requires that we do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God? My question even before I begin to read is: if God furiously longs for me and even sacrificed himself to be with me; how much longing do I have for him, really? Just what does it take to be that close to him?

If these are my questions after walking with him for well over 30 years can you imagine the fear (use whatever word here you use as an excuse) that holds back our parishioners from even an attempt to get inside the door of the sanctuary let alone behind the veil? Fear, what really is making me fearful still?

In myself I fear nothing. Went blind in Dec. 2008. No big deal...cataracts removed and now I see. Liver disease was destroying my body. Sept. 2008 had transplant liver is good. Looking to hip replacement...not afraid. I have realized I am afraid to want God as much or more than I wanted my body to be well. Today I can say I am the most self centered person I know. No wonder I use the excuses; no time, too hard, don't know how, or for us pastors - there is so much to do already I cannot take the time needed to bring everyone to the entrance to the sanctuary so I will just preach the lectionary and be done with it. Where are you today?

I am intentionally going to read my book this afternoon. We will never furiously long for God until we are willing to face and deal with the pieces that make us afraid.

My revelation today is that even though I know better, I am afraid he will reject me, not have time for me etc. Knowing that is the biggest lie there is...Today I choose to move toward furiouslt longing and approaching my PaPa God; the one who loves me most.
Good words here!!

We had something spoken on Wednesday evening past that fits here, too. It was a marvelous bit of wisdom brought by a man who himself had received it from someone else who had received it when he was in deep need.

Figure out when the last time you were in one of those maddening situations where you were just stuck spiritually speaking. Nothing felt right, nothing tasted good, everything was uncomfortable and if there was a path for God that you were supposed to be on, you surely could not see it. Been there? Me, too. The speaker shared that he had been there and someone gave him a wonderful bit of wisdom. Simple enough, maddeningly simple, actually. Go back to the last time you knew that you knew what it was that you were to be about and do that!

Pastors who get so scattered doing all the good things that need to be done. Artistic folks and others who can do a great many things and who also end up doing too many of the good things that they can do instead of the very specific things that God called them to be doing. "I'm spread sooooooooo thin." "There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day."

Not blaming here, hopefully just identifying. Yes, there are seldom enough hands in small to medium churches to get all the things done that could/should be done, but what would happen if we could somehow give up some of the good things so we could concentrate our efforts and be more intentional about the God things?

This is not a new message. As I type it, I can hear several sermons from my mental collection of the last 30+ years. I can hear it from my own lips to a certain clown friend, and I can hear it echoed back at me years before or years later from that same clown friend! Ah, the late night coffee times with the deep and amazing discussions of what and how the Lord was doing in our lives and in those around us and how we could cooperate with that.

Our pastor has been hammering on the letters of the Revelation. He spent many weeks there when he was planning on spending perhaps two. I feel as though he spent at least a month pounding one particular nail with several names. It had to do with luke warm, loss of first love, and things like that. Did we actually LOSE that first love or did we let it get diluted with all the stuff that can come along with it?

And we heard yet another sermon on the burning bush. His point was that Moses saw the bush, paused, considered the bush, and TURNED ASIDE. He did not keep on going, he did not turn AWAY. He stopped and paid attention to something that was important enough to get his attention. THEN God spoke to him! ONLY after he stopped and considered. BOOM, right between the eyes. Yes, Lord...

I think that some in our local circle are about to make a covenant to do something about the situation and see if we cannot collectively step back a little, find out where it was that we really did recognize His voice, drive a stake, and try to be about Father's business as He called us to be. We'll keep you posted!
Hi again...

been a looong time...

As a worshiper, i long for those times of corporate worship (even 2 or 3 will suffice) where we get our spirit ahead of our flesh and head.

Come into an awareness of God's holiness and breathe more fully the air of heaven...

I agree entirely with mmitch, though... we are afraid.

"I hid myself because I was afraid..."

but mmitch has made one error...for i'm pretty sure if you were to get time with me you would perhaps realize you are the 2nd most self-centred person alive....


no...i know it is no contest ... truly my evil twin rules me in this way though...



Anyways...back to the topic...

In the general area where i live (Ont. Canada) i have found the usual extreme of churches where there is seemingly complete religious and controlling spiritual oppression to those where an open heaven and the humble hearts of leadership waft to the nostrils of Almighty and woo His Presence to inhabit their praises.

And a lot of everything in between...

I have hungrily sought out soaking venues and arrogantly avoided them, been in charge and been a participator, been too frustrated by the crumbs delivered when bread was advertised and been too lazy, too jaded, too judgmental, and too carnal.

I am not qualified to give an overview of any larger scope...but in my simple diagnoses....

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.."

... it is my longing for Him that comes and goes....

based on ME...what I need or want.... instead of being based on Him...

when this changes based on the humility of deep repentance, true worship will be the natural...SUPERnatural response....

my fear that He will reject me; my self-centredness and above all my pride, keep me focused on ME (noting well how much of my post is talking about ME is an accurate reflection, eh?

:hamster: )

it starts with my own heart...doesn't it?

Father? Take this heart and let it be consecrated, Lord, for Thee...

it wanders .... make me Your love-slave

it is deceptive.... shine Your light

it is weak.... send Your Eagles-wings Strength

it is broken.... heal....sweet Spirit....

that i might be that sponge of Your glory....

Ya know? If i were so marinated in HIS love, that I oozed it out and left those greasy footprints where ever I went.... would that not bring others to come soak in Him?

hmmm.... :2: