Summary: A look at some important issues and hot topics concerning worship in our time.
TEXT: EPHESIANS 5:19-21
TITLE: “QUESTIONS CONCERNING WORSHIP”
(Majority of material taken from Bob Russel’s When God Build A Church)
INTRODUCTION: A. I read this little piece not too long ago. I don’t know the author but its message is
A man went to church with an angel as his guide. Every seat in the church was
filled. But there was something strange about the service. The organist moved her
fingers over the keys, but no music came from its pipes. The choir rose to sing. Their
lips moved, but no sound was to be heard. The preacher stepped to the pulpit to read
the Scriptures, but the man observing with the angel could not even hear the rustle of
pages. Then the Lord’s Prayer was recited by the entire congregations, but not a
single syllable was audible. The preacher went again to the pulpit, and the man could
tell he had started his sermon as he gestured here and there to make his various points,
but the man heard nothing.
Turning to the angel, the man said, “I don’t understand. What does this mean? I
see that a service is being held, but I hear nothing.” The angel replied, “You heard
nothing because there is nothing to be heard, at least not by heaven’s ears. They’re
just going through the motions. Nothing they are doing has any meaning for them.
Worship without heart is not worship at all.”
B. Remember that worship is a declaration of the “worth-ship” of God
1. It’s a response to all that God is and all that He has done, what He is doing, and
what He will do.
2. God is worthy of our praise and adoration
3. Gene Mims, Kingdom Principles for Church Growth, “The purpose of worship is to
come before the Lord in obedience to praise Him, to hear from Him, to confess to
Him, and to commit our lives to Him. Every worship service is to be an encounter
with the Lord, transcending our feelings, desires, and even our abilities to
C. Remember also that worship should affect how we live our everyday life
1. It’s not just something that happens one day a week but every day.
2. A woman entered an ice cream store in the Kansas City Plaza. After making her
selection, she turned and found herself face to face with Paul Newman. He was in
town filing the move Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. Newman’s blue eyes caused her knees
to buckle. She managed to pay for her cone, then left the shop, her heart pounding.
When she gained her composure, she realized she didn’t have her cone. She
started back into the store to get it and met Paul Newman coming back out. He
asked, “Are you looking for your ice-cream cone?” She nodded, unable to speak.
With a twinkle in his eye, he said, “You put it in your purse with your change.”
--When was the last time our worship brought us into the presence of God and
quickened our pulse and affected our lives?
I. CONSISTENCY IN SCRIPTURE
--As we look at worship from a biblical standpoint, we see two ingredients that always seem to be present:
A. A sense of awe
1. When I was 11 years old, I went with my parents to Chicago, IL for my Aunt Pat’s wedding. The
hotel where we stayed had a restaurant. We were eating dinner in there one night when Muhammad
Ali came in with his family. I couldn’t believe it! There sat one of the most famous people in the
world just a few tables away.
My dad and mom said that I should go talk to him. Yeah, right! They told me that since he was
from Louisville, KY and we were from Elizabethtown, KY (just south of Louisville) that he would
be glad to talk to me and give me an autograph.
Very sheepishly I approached his table. He very graciously waved me closer. I just handed him
the paper and pen and he autographed it for me. (It was the envelope from the invitation to the
wedding). He asked me questions, talked to me for several minutes, said he knew several people in
my hometown, and was just a very congenial person to be around. He even shook my hand. They
were the biggest hands I had seen so far in my short life. His hand swallowed min.
I didn’t take his graciousness to mean that I would be on a first-name basis with him. I stood
there in awe and respect of this world-famous person and still remember the encounter as one of the
most awesome and fear-inducing experiences in my lifetime.
2. I tell that story because when the Bible describes any face-to-face encounter between man and God