This is a follow up to my previous post on Bob Kauflin's book True Worshipers.
Chapter Seven, True Worshipers Keep Singing: Worship and Perseverance is packed with many helpful questions that have us all at some point. The following list is certainly not exhaustive, but includes the questions that resonated most strongly with me.
WHAT IF I DON'T FEEL LIKE SINGING?
"Sometimes we come in on a Sunday morning and the last thing we want to do is sing. God gave us singing as a means not only of expressing our emotions but also speaking to them. We won't always be moved in the same way or to the same degree when we sing. There may be times when we feel numb. But the answer isn't to stop singing. Crying for grace to feel strong affections toward [God] is itself a sign of true worship. And certainly more fruitful than gritting our teeth and accepting the condition as normal."
WHY DO WE SING SO MANY OLD SONGS (OR NEW SONGS)?
"Objecting to songs simply because they're old is rooted in the same problem as objecting to new ones. We want to sing the songs we like. But the issue isn't how familiar we are with the songs. The issue is whether we're going to take every opportunity as true worshipers to exalt God."
This is a great exhortation to me as one who can be distracted by my own critical spirit when in an unfamiliar worship scenario. Kauflin's answer can be applied to any aspect of a worship service. Perhaps we're in a service more "rigid" than we're used to or perhaps the liturgy is very different. The choice is ours: do we enter in and seek the glory of the Lord or do we itemize those things which do not live up to our standards?
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I'M DISTRACTED?
"It's enough to be distracted internally by our own thoughts, relational challenges, struggles, pains, and anxieties. But distractions can also be external. It might be a leader or someone in the band who's particularly expressive or grumpy looking. It might be the temperature in the room. If you're a musician, you might be bothered by a bad mix. It's the rare meeting that doesn't have something we can complain about. But for true worshipers, the question is always, How can I respond in a way that exalts God's glory in Christ in my mind, affections, and will?"
I am so thankful for Bob Kauflin's work in music and worship at Sovereign Grace. It has helped me grow in so many ways and I hope it helps us all to keep singing!
Anthony is the Director of Music and Worship at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC.
Recommended Music for Worship
Keith and Kristyn Getty
With One Voice
Look and Live
Rhythms of Grace
The Worship Architect
The Stories We Tell
Music Though the Eyes of Faith
Christ Centered Worship