Becoming a Better Worshiper
We know that in some sense, all of life is in one frame or another, an act of worship. It just depends what we are worshiping. While I hold to this concept, I do not want to minimize what Christians do when they gather together in order to corporately worship - solely focus their hearts, thoughts and being on the person of Christ, the greatness of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. This, I fear, is attempted often times, but often falls short of what it aspires to do. Why is this? I think habit can deaden the senses. No matter what the habit. Be it liturgy, dancing in the aisles, old worn hymnals... any habit can become boring. At the same time, the heart of the worshiper can be so moved by the familiar, by these habits. The heart can be engaged by both variety and by familiarity. So, regarding corporate worship gatherings I have an idea. And since cyberspace is where I toss my ideas and then run for cover (what a blessing!) here I go.
Why not have a group - be it a Church group, or a group of members from various Churches (all the better - to display unity and love) - whose interest is to increase the magnitude of worship in the hearts of worshipers, as well as to specifically seek to honour, glorify and exalt the name and nature of the God we all worship. Then, this group would establish a specific time-frame - say 4 times a year (on 5th Sunday evenings, of which there are almost always 4 in a year), to 'practice' developing worshipers - this would be an open event. There would of course be preparation. This would be specifically a worship service, but the feel, genre, type of setting would be different each time. In this way, all who attend would be fine tuning their hearts to sing His praise. Themes could be:
Celebration of Children and families in worship:
'And infant voices shall proclaim, their early blessings on His name.'
There would be kids choirs, poetry, prayers, Scripture quoted etc. Youth 18 and under would lead. There would be original songs written - 'Sing a new song to the Lord.'
Celebration of Traditions in worship:
'You have given me a goodly heritage.' Hymnals would be used. Instruments like organ and trumpet might be utilized. I'm all for a good hymn-sing - but even the best hymn-sings can get old and tired. Hymns would be re-written to provoke thought of the words (this is one of my hobbies, re-writing old, forgotten hymns that have amazing words that no one sings because the tunes are so drab).
Celebration of Culturally Diverse Expressions of worship:
'All the peoples of the earth shall praise you.'
It could be one evening devoted specifically to African style music, dance and worship styles.
Either an entire other evening could be devoted to Latin style or one night could cover a variety of cultural expressions.
Celebration of Drama and Dance in worship:
'David danced before the Lord.'
This could be with a few talented ones performing worshipful vignettes of dance that illustrates the wonders of God. It could include dramatic presentations and songs by those who know how to do that kind of thing.
Celebration of Communion in Worship:
This would be a specific remembrance meeting where communion is shared, and Christ specifically is the theme of worship. 'Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim, 'til all the world adores His sacred name.'
There could be many more - those were just a few off the top of my head...
Now, someone else can run with it. And let me know when and where - I'll show up!
One thing I think this could do is expand our horizons for what worship is. And it would perhaps minimize complaining and criticizing no matter what worship setting we tend to follow.