The "Great God of Men" (Issue 1.13)


Originally Written for 11/16/08

I’m reading a book entitled Worship Evangelism that deals with over-all issues of worship and how to plan and execute worship services to reach different audiences.  The last two chapters deal with understanding the stylistic differences between generations and how to plan worship that appeals to each generation individually; the next chapter in the book will address issues of planning trans-generational (or inter-generational) worship services.

A couple of the chapters are transcripts of interviews by the author of various church leaders across the country, and one church leader made the following comment: “Busters [those born between 1964-1983] aren’t looking for the great men of God.  Rather, they’re looking for the great God of men….[we] are building a bridge for them to relate to [us] and the Lord.”

Wow!  I think we could broaden that to include everyone – isn’t everyone looking for the “Great God of men”?   I want to take us back to the first several devotionals presented in Grace Notes.  I expressed in those articles some of my vision for worship in general and, specifically, how the choir fits into that vision.  If you remember, I wrote that we are all worship leaders in the service – each and every one of us.  Granted, I have the official “title” during the service, but we all play a part.  The congregation, whether they realize it or not, looks not just to me but also looks to you for leadership in the service.

Last week I had a conversation in which I was asked “How do you view your job at Landmark in the worship service?”  I responded that part of my job, which I take very seriously, is to usher people into the presence of God so they can interact personally with Him during the service.  That should goal should belong to each of us, for we’re all leaders.

People don’t come to church for us (if they do they’re coming for the wrong reasons and we’re doing something wrong).  People come to experience God – to worship Him, listen to Him, and respond to Him.  Our job, yours and mine, is to lead them into that worship experience.  We are the ones “building a bridge for them to relate to…the Lord.”  Remember, they want to see the “Great God of men.”  The best way to lead is not by telling, but showing.  The best way to lead people into worship is to let them see us worshiping.

How do you build the bridge for worshipers at LBC?  It’s a question worth answering.  Think and pray about it this week – and let the people see you worship every week.

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The "Great God of Men" (Grace Notes Issue 1.13)


Originally Written for 11/16/08

Cross Posted on Grace Notes

I’m reading a book entitled Worship Evangelism that deals with over-all issues of worship and how to plan and execute worship services to reach different audiences.  The last two chapters deal with understanding the stylistic differences between generations and how to plan worship that appeals to each generation individually; the next chapter in the book will address issues of planning trans-generational (or inter-generational) worship services.

A couple of the chapters are transcripts of interviews by the author of various church leaders across the country, and one church leader made the following comment: “Busters [those born between 1964-1983] aren’t looking for the great men of God.  Rather, they’re looking for the great God of men….[we] are building a bridge for them to relate to [us] and the Lord.”

Wow!  I think we could broaden that to include everyone – isn’t everyone looking for the “Great God of men”?   I want to take us back to the first several devotionals presented in Grace Notes.  I expressed in those articles some of my vision for worship in general and, specifically, how the choir fits into that vision.  If you remember, I wrote that we are all worship leaders in the service – each and every one of us.  Granted, I have the official “title” during the service, but we all play a part.  The congregation, whether they realize it or not, looks not just to me but also looks to you for leadership in the service.

Last week I had a conversation in which I was asked “How do you view your job at Landmark in the worship service?”  I responded that part of my job, which I take very seriously, is to usher people into the presence of God so they can interact personally with Him during the service.  That should goal should belong to each of us, for we’re all leaders.

People don’t come to church for us (if they do they’re coming for the wrong reasons and we’re doing something wrong).  People come to experience God – to worship Him, listen to Him, and respond to Him.  Our job, yours and mine, is to lead them into that worship experience.  We are the ones “building a bridge for them to relate to…the Lord.”  Remember, they want to see the “Great God of men.”  The best way to lead is not by telling, but showing.  The best way to lead people into worship is to let them see us worshiping.

How do you build the bridge for worshipers at LBC?  It’s a question worth answering.  Think and pray about it this week – and let the people see you worship every week.

Authentic Worship (Issue 1.4)


Originally Written for 9/14/08

We’ve been looking at worship over the past few weeks, and so far we’ve given a working definition of worship and examined how we worship.  This week we’ll look at the last of the three “keys”: what authentic worship looks like.

I’ve been reading through a book entitled Worship Evangelism by Sally Morgenthaler.  As I’ve gone through the first couple of chapters there are two quotes I’d like to share that go back to what I’ve been writing about:

  • o “The most significant benefit of worship service is connecting with God.” (23)
  • o “Worship cements our preceptions of God and the world around us…Between the stained-glass windows or corporate plaster walls of our sanctuaries, our concepts of and attitudes toward God, ourselves, and others are being fashioned, for better or for worse.” (29)

If authentic worship is God-intiatiated (as I wrote three weeks ago), and the purpose of worship is connecting to God (see above quote), then the answer to the question “What does authentic worship look like” is authentic worship is anything that draws us closer to God and deepens our understanding of Him and our relationship to Him and others.  In other words, we judge this aspect of worship by the result, not the process.  Just as we judge a team by it’s winning record or the effectiveness of a company’s CEO by its income and growth at the end of the year, so we can only judge authentic worship by its end result.  We can identify authentic worship when it is worship that draws us closer to God, which then deepens our relationship with others.  This understanding explains our mission statement on the front of the newsletter.

I’m going to take us back to what Jesus said in John to the woman at the well: We must worship God in Spirit and in truth.

Our job as a choir on Sunday mornings is to lead the congregation in worship.  Whether we admit it or not, whether we like it or not, they are looking to us – all of us – for leadership.  The way we step into the loft communicates something very powerful to the congregation, the way we show our love and adoration toward God, the words we sing in the call to worship – all these things set the tone for how the congregation will worship – they take their cues for us.

Which is why it is so important for us to have a firm understanding of both the theological doctrines that influence worship and how we can effectively lead the congregation.  We’ve spent the last several weeks looking at the former and we’ve touched a little on the latter.  Now our job is to simply do it!

We’ll revisit this topic often, but I believe we’ve now got a basic understanding.

Authentic Worship (Grace Notes Issue 1.4)


Originally Written for 9/14/08

Cross Posted on Grace Notes

We’ve been looking at worship over the past few weeks, and so far we’ve given a working definition of worship and examined how we worship.  This week we’ll look at the last of the three “keys”: what authentic worship looks like.

I’ve been reading through a book entitled Worship Evangelism by Sally Morgenthaler.  As I’ve gone through the first couple of chapters there are two quotes I’d like to share that go back to what I’ve been writing about:

  • o “The most significant benefit of worship service is connecting with God.” (23)
  • o “Worship cements our preceptions of God and the world around us…Between the stained-glass windows or corporate plaster walls of our sanctuaries, our concepts of and attitudes toward God, ourselves, and others are being fashioned, for better or for worse.” (29)

If authentic worship is God-intiatiated (as I wrote three weeks ago), and the purpose of worship is connecting to God (see above quote), then the answer to the question “What does authentic worship look like” is authentic worship is anything that draws us closer to God and deepens our understanding of Him and our relationship to Him and others.  In other words, we judge this aspect of worship by the result, not the process.  Just as we judge a team by it’s winning record or the effectiveness of a company’s CEO by its income and growth at the end of the year, so we can only judge authentic worship by its end result.  We can identify authentic worship when it is worship that draws us closer to God, which then deepens our relationship with others.  This understanding explains our mission statement on the front of the newsletter.

I’m going to take us back to what Jesus said in John to the woman at the well: We must worship God in Spirit and in truth.

Our job as a choir on Sunday mornings is to lead the congregation in worship.  Whether we admit it or not, whether we like it or not, they are looking to us – all of us – for leadership.  The way we step into the loft communicates something very powerful to the congregation, the way we show our love and adoration toward God, the words we sing in the call to worship – all these things set the tone for how the congregation will worship – they take their cues for us.

Which is why it is so important for us to have a firm understanding of both the theological doctrines that influence worship and how we can effectively lead the congregation.  We’ve spent the last several weeks looking at the former and we’ve touched a little on the latter.  Now our job is to simply do it!

We’ll revisit this topic often, but I believe we’ve now got a basic understanding.