Philosophy of Worship
We, the worship team at SMC, do not take lightly our responsibility of leading the congregation into worship each week. We encourage each other, pray for each other and hold each other accountable, confronting when necessary. It is an honor and one of my greatest blessings to serve SMC with this team.
As a team, we have studied biblical worship. We completed the book WORSHIP The Ultimate Priority by John MacArthur and Worhip Matters by Bob Kauflin. Together these books provide both a biblical theology of worship along with practical application for worship teams. In MacArthur’s book we studied worship in the Old Testament. We learned that in ancient Israel, worship covered all of life. It was not just the music portion of a Sunday morning service. The tabernacle was in the center and everything faced toward it. Also in the tabernacle, there were no seats. The ancient Israelites did not go to the tabernacle to sit and be entertained. They went there to worship and serve God. We learn from the Israelites that true worship is GIVING TO GOD, not receiving from God.
In Leviticus chapter 10 we read how Nadab and Abihu did not follow the precise instructions given by God to be done as priests in leading the people in worship. They were instantly killed. Saul also did not follow God’s instructions for worship and it cost him and his descendants the throne. In 2nd Samuel 6, Uzzah, who had been trained all his life to protect the Ark of the Covenant, reached out to stop the Ark from falling off of the cart. He touched the Ark and “the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence.” A common misconception regarding worship is that worship is all about the heart. While the heart is an important part, it is not the only part. Uzzah’s heart was right. He was well intentioned in trying to protect the Ark; but, he still disobeyed God and his worship was unacceptable to God.
Worship must be in spirit (with a right heart) and in truth (according to how God prescribes it in Scripture) to be acceptable to God (John 14:24). There is no question but that God takes the act of worship seriously and therefore, we do also. First and foremost, our priority is that our worship be acceptable to God, not to individuals. God, Himself is essentially the boss of how He will be worshipped, not us
At SMC we believe in Solo Scriptura –Scripture alone. This basically means that Scripture is sufficient to meet every need of the human soul. All essential spiritual truth is contained in the Word of God. In applying Solo Scriptura to worship, every lyric of every song must be in agreement with Scripture (2 Timothy 4:2). If our pastor’s can’t preach it, we cannot sing it. The songs must edify the congregation (Eph. 4:12), honor the Lord (Hebrews 12:28), and place no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3).
In summary, worship is giving honor and adoration to God. It must be done in spirit (with a right heart) and in truth (in accordance to Scripture). All of the music that we sing at SMC will be analyzed through that grid.
How does all of this theology of worship flesh itself out in practice? What is our purpose as a team?
Purpose Statement: The worship team of Shadow Mountain Church exists to magnify the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit skillfully combining God’s Word with music thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God’s presence and to live for God’s glory. (adopted from Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin.)
Our Goals as a team are to:
Model for the church a life of worship
Continue to grow in our understanding of biblical worship
Further develop skills
Develop authenticity in relationships with team members
Continue to hold each other accountable and encourage each other in the process of sanctification
Our goals in service to our church are:
To help the congregation understand the concept of biblical worship
To encourage the congregation to establish corporate worship as a priority and personal worship as the ultimate priority in their lives
To help the congregation fully engage in corporate worship
So how do we accomplish these goals and priorities on a weekly basis? Because the focal point of every service is the Word- i.e. the message, the lead worshipper is given the big idea of the message each week. Theologically correct songs are selected that support the message. The song selections are then given to the Pastor for his final approval.
Finally, in studying the Psalms we have learned that we need to give God our very best. We, as a team are committed to giving to the Lord, worship that is in spirit and in truth and that is worthy of who He is. It is an honor to serve our God and Shadow Mountain Church each week.
All for HIS glory,
Worship Leader, SMC