Blended Revelational Worship
This week I've been away at the Shepherd's Conference in southern California. While it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows (I mean that literally... it has averaged in the 50s and we even saw snow this morning!) the worship time in the main sessions has been spectacular. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect when I arrived. I used to attend this church twenty years ago, and back then it was very traditional. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
Each session we were led by a different group of worshippers. Sometimes it was the choir and orchestra. Another time it was the Master's Chorale singing some amazing numbers. Today we had a jazz combo band leading us, and yesterday it was a more typical contemporary group with bass, drums, and piano. All in all I thought it was a great picture of the many ways we can worship the Lord and just a small sample of the diversity we see pictured in the worship in the book of Revelation.
In Ephesians 5:19, Paul exhorts the church to encourage each other with Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs. In Revelation we see those same musical ideas being played out in the worship of God. There is no mention of a particular style that is elevated over another. What is key is that the content be scriptural and God-honoring. That is something I've preached and practiced and was encouraged to see throughout this conference.
Something I would encourage you worship leaders out there to do would be to expose your congregation to a wide range of good, Christian music. There is a lot of junk out there that is man-centered and has about as much depth as a kiddie pool. But, we also have thousands of years of scriptural music to choose from when leading our congregations in worship. I was happy to see that we sang modern hymns, songs of testimony, ancient texts, and straight scripture as well. All of these can be and should be used to prepare us for the worship of listening to God's Word.
All in all, it has been a wonderful week and I'm excited to implement some of the very practical things I've learned. Praise God for the immeasurable benefit of His Word and His Son who is glorified in it.