Thoughts On Worship

Every week, we give everyone the opportunity to write a question or comment that we’ll address before the service is over.  I never know who writes what.  Today there was one that I really appreciated and I’m not sure if I totally handled it well (despite the reassurances and encouraging comments from a number of people).  Maybe I should wait, but I think I’ll process this outloud.


Here’s the story.

The service today went well.  The music was good.  It was loud.  There were haze and lights.  We sang Never Stop, I Am Free, I Will Hold On, God of This City and Let God Arise.  It was loud.  The bass was thumping, the lights were shining, people were singing.  Did I mention it was loud?

The comment simply said (as best I can remember) – “I didn’t come here for a rock concert.  I thought we were here to “worship””

Sometimes I read comments, sometimes I don’t.  I felt like I needed to address this.  Now, I don’t know if the person who wrote it did so because it was loud, because of the lights and the haze, because the rest of the room was dark, because it was electric guitars and drums, or because of the style of music we played.  So I’m not 100% sure what they meant.  But here’s what I said (again, as best I can remember):

We play this music, use the lights and all that stuff because that’s how we express our worship.  If you’re coming here expecting us to give you what you want in terms of worship, you have a misunderstanding of what worship is.  Worship is what we give to God.  It’s our response to Him.  It’s about what we give, not what we get.  I don’t think we’re doing anything that dishonors God, that blasphemes Him or is sin.  If you don’t like how we do this, Discovery might not be the best place for you, and that’s ok.  But we do the best we can to offer this to God, to give God our best and this is how we do it.  I hope you can appreciate that and that it makes sense.

Some people clapped, others gave me positive comments afterwards, but I had a conversation after that really brought up a good point, and that’s what I’m struggling with right now.  I had just finished spending 40 minutes talking about how Discovery is intent on becoming the OTC church.  The church Of This City, but also the church people reach for when they need help (the Over-The-Counter church) and here I was saying if you don’t like it, we might not be for you.  Now I understand that OTC medication isn’t one-size-fits-all.  You don’t pick up hemorrhoid medicine for your headache, and cough medicine won’t do anything to help you get rid of your warts.  So how does this fit with worship and us being the OTC church?

I honestly don’t have the answer.  I’m glad the question was raised.  Is there a difference between personal worship and corporate worship?  Should there be?  If so, what is it and how does that or should that come across in our music and our Sunday presentation?  Great questions – think you can help by sharing your thoughts?  I’d love to hear them.

25 Comments

  1. Matthew Lilley February 3, 2009
  2. Anonymous January 17, 2009
  3. Steve Thurnau January 12, 2009
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  5. Brad Christian January 10, 2009
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  7. Brad Christian January 10, 2009
  8. Michelle W. January 9, 2009
  9. Council Family January 7, 2009
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