6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: A look at the Who, What, Where, When and Why of worship.


Sometimes you come across some information that you wish you would have seen before you took a given action, or moved in a certain direction. For instance, it wasn’t until just a few days ago that I came across these “Top Ten Questions to Ask Before Changing Your Churches Worship Style”.

10. Is it really possible to introduce pyrotechnics gradually?

9. Do rhinestones and choir gowns ever make a positive statement?

8. Never enlist a Worship Leader with a Marilyn Manson tattoo!

7. While drums can be a welcome addition to any worship service, is it really necessary to have them rise out of the platform?

6. Visual Aids such as LCD projectors and new lighting can add to the impact of any service, but do lava lamps really create the right atmosphere?

5. Is it wise to issue laser pens to all the ushers?

4. The participation of every member in the worship experience is not only biblical, it’s essential. Having said that, never hand out tambourines to the entire congregation!

3. While it’s true that instrumental variety really adds to the worship experience, kazoos should always be considered an acquired taste!

2. Can your preacher really pull off the gold lame suit?

And the number one question to ask before changing your worship style is:

1. Are the changes being made to please man, or encounter God?

Now, I’m not foolish enough to believe that there aren’t those of you out there thinking a number of things when you see that I’m about to preach for four weeks on worship. There are probably the more traditional thinkers that are saying, “Oh great. Four weeks of explanation of why his music is better than mine.” There may be some younger characters in the congregation thinking, “Oh great. I hope this is when he lets them have it, and we can get on with some rocking around here.”

There are probably some of you thinking, “What in the world could the Bible have to say about worship that could take four weeks?” And of course, there is probably at least one of you out there thinking, “I wonder if Ruby Tuesday’s has Mahi-Mahi on the menu today?” Okay. . .well, maybe not.

But undoubtedly there are plenty of personal opinions, and concerns within the church as we approach this topic of worship. So I want to start right off the bat by making sure we know what this is NOT about. Are you ready? Let’s dispel some concerns, apprehensions, fears, and whatever else may have you ready to pack up your purse or Bible and head out. . .

This series on worship is NOT about. . .

Music Styles and Selections

It is not about hymns versus praise choruses. Slow songs versus fast songs. Hymnals versus PowerPoints.

A young Christian went to his local church usually, but one weekend attended a small town church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was. "Well," said the young man, "It was good. They did something different however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs." "Hymns," said his wife, "what are those?" ”Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like regular songs, only different," said the young man. "Well, what’s the difference?” Asked his wife.

The young man said, "Well it’s like this: If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a regular song. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you: ‘Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry. Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth. Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by, To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth. For the way of the animals who can explain? There in their heads is no shadow of sense, Harkenest they in God’s sun or his rain Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced. Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight, Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed. Then goaded by minions of darkness and night They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed. So look to that bright shining day by and by, Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn. Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry, and I no longer see those foul cows in the corn. AMEN!

"Then, if I were to do only verses one, two, and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn."

Well. . .in the name of equal time. . .

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was. "Well," said the farmer, "it was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns." "Praise choruses?" said his wife, "What are those?" "Oh they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different," said the farmer. "Well, what’s the difference?" asked the wife.

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