Worship, even at its most subliminal, is at the core of Christian discipleship and the purpose of the church. It must be because worship is about giving God utmost priority.
Tozer once said:
Worship of the loving God is man’s whole reason for existence. That is why we are born and that is why we are born again from above. That is why we were created and that is why we have been recreated. That is why there was a genesis at the beginning, and that is why there is a re-genesis, called regeneration.
That is also why there is a church. The Christian church exists to worship God first of all. Everything else must come second or third or fourth or fifth.
I am really blessed to be a part of a church that believes not only in expressing worship, but also bringing it to the forefront of our overt consciousness.
Over the last month, Faith Community Church devoted three entire weeks to the teaching and application of the theology of worship. I had the honour of preaching the first message in the series, The Priests We Were Destined to Be. Pastor Dave Wong then preached the second message on The Power of a Praising Heart.
The series culminated in Worship Sunday, which took place last Sunday – an entire church service devoted to worship.
We decided to run the service as four movements, each beginning with a monologue by a worship leader exemplifying a particular theme of worship. And, rather than just singing for one and a half hours, each movement featured its own unique posture and praise expression.
Here is how the service played out.
Scripture reading: Psalm 97:1-10
Dance item performed by banner team: “I Exalt Thee” (E-F-G)
What was significant about the dance item was that it was a prophetic symbol of God’s restoration of the family altar, as three generations of a family, led by the grandmother, danced together in worship.
Movement 1: Worship celebrates with exuberant praise
Monologue by Dave
Endless Praise (A)
Movement 2: Worship is magnified by His grace
Monologue by Lydia
Broken Vessels (G)
O Praise the Name (Anastasis) (A)
Exhortation by Ps Jon Quay
Song Item: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us (D) with contemporary dance by Stephanie Khoo
Movement 3: Worship calls us to intimacy
Monologue by Sunray
Sinking Deep (D)
Scripture readings ministering God’s love
I Lay Me Down (A) Kneeling in worship
Christ is Enough (A) with dance
Movement 4: Worship exalts a sovereign God
Monologue by Lester
No Other Name (E) Corporate prayer for the nations
Spontaneous prophetic word and response
Benediction by Pastor Benny Ho
Pastor Benny reminded us from James 1:26,27 that after the service ends and we leave the building, true worship is lived out by our having a controlled tongue, a caring heart and a consecrated life.
It was a remarkable Sunday, one which I think many of us will remember for a long time to come; a Sunday which has really lifted the watermark of worship in the church; where the ceiling has now become the floor of the next level.
I am so grateful to serve with the amazing team of musicians who facilitated the service, the dancers, stage designers, lighting and AV team.
Back row: Addie Choon (MD/bass), Joash Ang (electric guitar), Caleb Leong (drums), Ps Dave Wong (worship leader/acoustic guitar), Tae Kim (vocals), Ansen Soon (sound), Sam Ng (keyboard), me (worship leader)
Front row: Sunray Zheng (worship leader), Luke Tan (electric guitar), Delany See (keyboard), Lydia Ling (worship leader)
Here is the text of my monologue “Worship Exalts a Sovereign God”
Even as we have leaned in
And intimately encountered a God of love, grace and mercy,
We experience a simultaneous outward compulsion
To take this love, grace and mercy
To the ends of the earth.
As the eyes of the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord
Seated on the throne
His heart was gripped by the question:
“Who would go for Us?”
True worship emanates from a heart surrendered to God
But resonates, beats in rhythm with
His intense desire and longing that none should perish.
We encounter His love in worship gathered,
We carry His grace and presence in worship scattered;
We are transformed in worship gathered,
We transform our world in worship scattered;
We are discipled in worship gathered,
We disciple nations in worship scattered.
The Psalmist says
God’s love is meteoric
His loyalty astronomic
His purpose titanic
His verdicts oceanic
Yet in His largeness
Nothing gets lost
No one gets lost
In this world so tumultuous
Full of fear, hatred, violence, killing and death
We have a God who is still sitting on the throne
Who reigns over all things
Who has been given the name over all names
Fire still goes before Him
Mountains melt like wax at the sound of His voice
The haughtiest of hearts are humbled by His greatness
Kings cast their crowns at the sight of His majesty and splendour
Our God is still on the throne!
And one day
The kingdoms of this world
Will become the kingdom of our Lord and King
And He will reign forever and ever!
Let’s together in worship exalt our sovereign God,
Lift up your eyes church
He is our King of Kings and our Lord of Lords!
Here is the recording of the service in three parts.
May you be inspired to take your personal worship to the next level!
Photo credits: Joseph Siew