Feeling worship

Posted: 23rd January 2008 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

linga-hippo.jpgLingamish continues thinking about worship styles, asking a great question:

Is it OK to enjoy the feeling of a worship song?

He notes that we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, which should leave the door open for an honest emotional reaction to worship through our physical senses.

  1. […] reason I am posting this is because I was reading something that ElShaddia posted at his site.  It was a question regarding “is it ok to enjoy the feeling of a worship […]

  2. Jim Swindle says:

    David danced before the Lord with all his might. The Bible mentions raising hands in his name and bowing down before him. It includes worship with trumpets and stringed instruments. I think I can guess where you stand on this question as a musician. It’s hard to imagine any musician saying, “I’m going to play my trumpet in the worship assembly, for the Lord, but I certainly hope that none of us feels any emotion of any kind when I play.”

    Visits to a large Pentecostal church freed me to worship the Lord with my emotions. That’s a wonderful thing.

    Having said that, there are excesses and false teachings to avoid. Some people judge their worship only by the intensity of their emotion. They follow any leader or teacher who enables them to FEEL something in worship, and they end up in falsehood.

  3. Jim noted:

    They follow any leader or teacher who enables them to FEEL something in worship, and they end up in falsehood.

    My particular concern in this area has to do with the manufacturing of “worship feeling” by song leaders who purposefully pick or order songs based on the reaction they believe they’ll get from the congregation.

    For example, do you arrange the order worship songs so that you build to a ballad that asks the congregation to stand and lay themselves bare, then follow that with the offering call? or prayer and a message of hellfire for the unrepentant?

    I certainly can’t deny that music has the potential to generate all kinds of feeling in us – that’s part of our physiological makeup. And an honest emotional response to a turn of phrase or melody shouldn’t be deprecated. But when the organ grinder turns the crank in just the right peculiar way, do we feel closer to God or emotionally used?

  4. Lingamish says:

    This is a great thread and I’m enjoying all of this a lot. Thanks.

  5. Jim Swindle says:

    I believe it’s appropriate for songs to be in an order and also appropriate for the worship leader to be aware of the most likely possible emotional (and spiritual and intellectual) responses to them. Yet the goal of true worship, and of true worship leaders, is for people to come into the presence of the Lord, to hear from him, to confess to him, to submit to him, to intercede for others before him. So, I’d say that if a worship leader is ONLY trying to create the feeling of worship, he/she is off base. If the leader is trying to include music that will help people worship the Lord whole-heartedly, with intellect, spirit, will and emotion, then the leader is doing what’ s appropriate.