Wednesday, September 24, 2008

...across the room to expose myself.... get real, that is.  I'm thinking that if I put my thoughts down on this blog for anyone to read it might help me to sort out this topic and come to a place of rest.  The topic? Corporate Worship.  I have no trouble worshipping God on my own or with some close friends just in case you might read this and wonder if I EVER worship.  Oh YES!  I HAVE to worship my God.  He is my life.  He is my everything and I love Him with all my heart and soul and strength.  When you are really passionate about something you just have to share it and I feel that way about God.  I want to worship Him corporately with my brothers and sisters in Christ. That is where my dilemma begins.  This issue has plagued me for a number of years by now.  Those close to me know this full well.  I have been confused, angered, extremely frustrated to the point of tears (OFTEN!) and completely aghast at the type of worship I have been seeing in churches wherever I go.  For the most part I have not liked, or enjoyed, or been able to participate fully in a worship service in a very long time.  This journey has been wracked with pain and disappointment.  I know... it is a sad state of affairs but it's not over yet.

Throughout my life, whenever I have experienced real difficulties, I have made it a policy of sorts to go back to the basics, or the beginning.  I go back as far as I have to in order to find a starting point so I can deal with what I know for sure.  Sometimes I struggle for a long time before I remember to do this.  This time it took me a lot longer than usual to finally get there!

It seems to me that any time I have struggled through something, nothing happens until I get to the end of myself.  To get to that place where I finally decide that nothing matters to me more than a solution.  I am willing to give up whatever I need to and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to resolve the issue.  I don't know that I've arrived yet but I do think I am beginning to see a path.  Where it will lead, I'm not sure.  I believe it will be to a better spot than where I am now.

Often people don't like to hear anything beginning with "Well, when I was a kid...." but this is my blog and that IS where worship began for me.  Sunday mornings we would get dressed in our best clothes and go to "Sunday WORSHIP SERVICE".  Never did it enter my mind that only part of that service was for worshipping.  Worship included singing, praying, scripture reading which was often done by parishioners, bringing tithes and offerings, a sermon and quite often a sharing time where we were encouraged to share what was on our hearts.    Prayer time often involved several parishioners praying audibly.  Singing was led or directed by either the pastor or a song leader.  He made sure everyone was joining in and he made sure we were aware of the words we were singing.  Many times the singing was stopped long enough for him to either give some background information about the song or the writer, or to ask us to think about the words we were singing and I remember how that changed the way we sounded.  Suddenly there was LIFE in the music.

During my teenage years we moved and consequently attended a new local church.  These people would often meet thirty minutes prior to the worship service for a sing song.  They loved music and they loved singing together.  This did not keep them from singing more songs during the worship service.  The singing was hearty and there was lots of it.  This I know for sure:  I absolutely loved Sunday Morning Worship Service!


Obviously worship is all about God...

Keep checking back....this is only the beginning.


Michele said...

I have been in many churches where I have come out frustrated with the service, especially the worship part of it. I finally found a church that fits me in this catagory. There was one time though when it didn't fit. I was frustrated and praying to God and asking, why can't worship in church sound like the worship CDs I listen to? And in His own still and quiet way, He said to me, "To Me, your worship DOES sound like those CD's". It was then that I realized that worship doesn't have to sound perfect to us. As long as our hearts are in the right place, it sounds beautiful to the One who matters most.

I'll be interested to see where you end up in this journey.

Stacey said...

The problem with many churches for me is that I am always taking the good with the bad. The worship is great, the pastor's message not so much, or vice-versa or other matters. The thing is, church is a gathering of hundreds of different personalities. And I have never found a perfect "fit" for me. I've learned to filter out a lot of the "stuff" around me (not focusing so much on how others worship)and take from it what I can. It's hard for me because I'm the type of person that gets very distracted easily. So worship for me happens in a very private way. It's an intimate time between my God and me - usually best experienced alone. I will never, or at least have not experienced it that same way in a group setting. As my relationship with Christ has grown and matured it's become easier for me to lower my expectations at church, and my "need for feed" in those surroundings. I can always learn something and take at least one thing away from Sunday service and I'm happy with that. I suppose I'm talking about more then just 'worship' here but to me it's all sort of intertwined anyway.

Looking forward to your next post on this topic!

Jobina said...

This is the part I liked...
Worship included singing, praying, scripture reading which was often done by parishioners, bringing tithes and offerings, a sermon and quite often a sharing time where we were encouraged to share what was on our hearts.
It always bothers me that our music team at church is called the "Worship team". It just doesn't even make sense. The whole service should be a worship service. One thing I liked about and miss about our little country church in Mennville was the sharing times that they had before prayer time. It's one of the wonderful parts about going to a smaller church that believes in sharing. Not everyone went deep, but there were always a few, and those few kept it alive. It felt more like family and like we were all on this journey together.
I'm looking forward to hearing more from you on this topic!

Elayne said...

Thanks for all your comments! I can't wait to get the next post done. It's still just percolating in my mind but I will get it done soon. Maybe tomorrow?
I wish more people would comment. Brutal honesty is what I'm after. Is anybody out there crazy about their Worship Services? Happy with basically every part of it?