Understanding Worship: A Working Definition

The number of conversations I have had with someone that involved a disagreement because of assumptions about one or more definitions has been frequent. I have learned the importance of words. Therefore, if we are going to continue our conversations about worship, we ought to at least be oriented in the same way. The goal of this article is to offer a working, yet comprehensive, definition of biblical worship.

Celtic_cross

What do I mean my biblical worship? By biblical, I mean that the definition will arise from our study of Scripture. Dictionaries certainly have a definition of worship as utilized in their respective languages, but we want to explore what it might look like to define worship from a biblical perspective.

As a natural extension of “biblical worship”, our definition of biblical worship will be set in a Christian perspective. Worship will be defined differently in each religion, and it could be argued that one could define “worship” for other religions from Scripture and the various events recorded therein. Today, we are focusing on biblical, Christian worship.Read More »

Advertisements

“Ancient-Future Worship”

I remember writing book reports growing up and I always thought that it was a peculiar practice. What value was there in regurgitating what the author said? Now a little bit wiser I can assure there is some value to this practice, as it ensures (or not) that you understand the author’s purpose for writing the book and the thesis therein. It also gives the one writing the review an opportunity to affirm or critique the author.

174px-Zoso_John_Paul_Jones_sigil_interlaced_triquetra_overlaying_circle.svgThis is my first book review here on TalkingWorship.com and it will come from arguably the most influential book on my worship ministry. Influential in that it was the first book I read that truly explored what worship is and how it is enacted and in that it has provided avenues to other authors and books to read in my pursuit of worship and liturgical studies.

Here is Baker Publishing Group’s summary of the book:

“God has a story. Worship does God’s story.Read More »

Stage Presence and the Worship Leader

All sorts of websites, blogs, and resource pages have “Stage Presence for Worship Leader” articles and quite frankly they are just not helpful. Well, not for me anyway. “Know where the Spirit is taking you”, “Pray beforehand”, and “Read your congregation” have no practical ramifications. This article is going to actually offer practical ways to improve your worship leading stage presence.

Now, to stay consistent with my attempt at reconciling theology and praxis, let us look at a couple of theological ideas that shed insight onto what it means to have good stage presence as a worship leader.

The idea that worship leaders usher the congregation into the presence of the Lord is an incredibly misleading theology that needs to be reconsidered. God calls His Church to the assembly and He is our host. Therefore, in our response to assemble we enter into the presence of God. For worship leaders this ought to be liberating! You are not responsible for bringing the congregation into the presence of the Lord. By the faithful’s decision to assemble they have already entered the presence of God.Read More »

What Is “Biblical” Worship?

The purpose of this website is primarily for myself. It is an outlet where I can translate the thoughts and ideas in my head to writing. This will be achieved in several ways: writing my own original articles, writing book reviews (coming soon), and writing article reviews. I read published academic material so the articles will frequently appear from peer-reviewed journals. It is important to interact with other authors of the same academic field so that is what I intend to do here today.

Crop_Book_of_Isaiah_2006-06-06Michael A. Farley is an adjunct professor of theological studies at St. Louis University. His article “What Is Biblical Worship? Biblical Hermeneutics and Evangelical Theologies of Worship” appeared in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. This article brings up an important topic that evangelical worship leaders must study and be able to articulate their own theology and philosophy. How do we discern what is biblical worship and therefore our theology of worship?Read More »