While at Family Camp this week I have enjoyed the worship and preaching. This year our district had The Difference from Southern Wesleyan University come to lead our worship in music segment of the nightly service. It is great! I’m blown away with the amount of talent that God has given to the SWU; it is like that every year. Let me tell you, those young guys and gals, I guess I can say that since I am 40 now, really give it up to Jesus. Hey, isn’t that awesome! I say yes!
I have sensed that not everyone is excited about allowing a different style of music to be played during our Holiness camp setting. It is possible that some think it is the world being mixed in with the church. I confess, as a person who was young in the Lord, I entertained those types of thoughts some time ago too. I think God brought me out of that by showing me that He is not limited in the ways that He chooses to connect with people. Besides, what is right worship? Jesus said that it is in spirit and truth. In the OT God desired obedience over sacrifice and noted that His people worshiped Him with their lips but their hearts were far from Him.
One thing that I come back to time after time is the thought that people who are lost (those who are not trusting in Christ as their Savior) are not having heated debates about what style of music should be played during church service. American Christianity is something else sometimes. We continuously find ways to focus on everything but what matters. Jesus forgive us! Listen, I can worship traditionally, or worship with older tradition like chants, or contemporary. You get the picture.
Without going into a long story about an experience I had with Christ I will tell you that the outcome of it was that I sent an email to my pastor and his wife and asked them if they wanted to come over to my house to worship with me. It was in the middle of the day and everyone else was at work or I would have called them too. Now this was a lot like a child calling another up and asking the child to come over and play games for the day. I didn’t have any special music in mind, I only knew that the Presence of Christ was with me and that I wanted my friends to worship Him with me.
Wouldn’t we Christians do better to focus on bringing the lost to the Presence of Christ so that they could make a decision to accept Him or reject Him? I think so. But, most of us believe that before we can invite someone to church that the music has to be a certain way or that the pastor has to be a certain way. We Christians are wasting precious time that some who are lost do not have debating over whether or not modern music is better than traditional music and vice versa.
It is funny how many are in a continuous search for the right ministry or church to be part of. Can we ever be honest admit that it is ultimately about us instead of Christ? It tires me. The path that leads to the Presence of Christ is to truly seek Him and only Him through humbleness and Holiness. Good, or bad, music has less to do with it than we would like to admit. It is a tool that the Spirit uses to help put me into the right attitude. Seeking Him is about thirsting for Him and when you find Him you bring others to the drinking hole where you found refreshing.
So what is right worship? Is it seeking Christ with the heart? Or is about finding the right pastor, the right type of music, and making sure things are done the way they have always been done? Then if everything meets our standards then we will give approval and consider that to be our worship for the day. Let me tell you that giving our approval is missing the bulls-eye by a mile. Meaningless. It is about us coming in to His house so that we can receive His mercy. Then we adore Him because of who He is.
So I say let’s not burn up our energies on this issue. Instead, let’s use our energies to seek Him and bring the lost to Him. This is right worship to me.