This past weekend I had a chance to welcome guests to Bethel Church’s Valley Worship Arts Conference. Pastor Andy Kvernen, one of my ministry partners and Bethel’s marvelous worship pastor, had asked me to take a few moments and share some thoughts on the impact of worship on the local church. Much could be shared, but here is what I offered:
First, the ministry of worship asks me to get over myself. In short: it isn’t about me! Giving my attention to that which is transcendent creates immeasurable tension within my soul, forcing me to choose to exalt myself or to stretch myself and offer my affections elsewhere. Worship forces me to get over myself.
Secondly, the ministry of worship begs me to affirm the unique dignity and person of the Triune God. Done well, it directs those aforementioned affections heavenward, toward the throne of God—Father, Son and Spirit. The Living God becomes the one who dominates my moment. It is all about Him!
Thirdly, the ministry of worship captures the totality of who I am. It grabs my intellect, my emotions, and my will. It impacts me physically (shall I open my mouth to sing?) and socially. It takes hold of me spiritually, striking the chords of my soul. Worship captures all of me. All of me is offered to my God.
Lastly, it allows me to savor the morsels of Heaven. Evangelism and mission is no doubt of inherent value because they are the things in the here and now that will not be necessary in Heaven. But to worship? Well, worship is the defining feature of Heaven, and to enter into it here gives us a taste of what is to come.