Returning to the Heart of Worship 2: Worship and the Transformed Heart

In my previous post, I introduced the topic of Returning to the Heart of Worship and why I think such a message is of critical importance to those in worship ministry, especially in this time and season.

In this post, I want to begin with this proposition: true worship emanates from a transformed heart. And transformation comes when we behold God.

We cannot talk about the excellencies of worship without dealing with the issue of the heart. Especially because worship musicians and singers are tasked to lead people into encounter with God through music and song.

“Leading people into encounter with God” is the key task. Music and song is the vehicle.

I started going to church when I was 12 years old. It could not have been more other worldly, and I mean that in a bad way. It was almost a daggy anti-culture, where everyone spoke in code and wore saccharine smiles.

The supposed crowning moment of the two-hour gathering was actually the zenith of tedium – this strange monologue called the sermon. (Taking notes was a great way to stay awake and still look interested).

Despite this, there was one part of the service that captivated me. It was the first 30 minutes when the band would play music and the people sang together. I have always liked music, but something about the music at church was different – there was something about the atmosphere when the people lifted up their voices together. It was only later that I would realise that this was the presence of God.

Encountering God’s presence in church ultimately changed the course of my life and my calling. It sparked in me a desire to lead others in worship, so that they too could experience the presence of God they way I did when I was growing up.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:8 that when we behold God with unveiled faces, we are constantly being transformed into His own image in ever increasing splendour and glory.

Bill Johnson says:

The impulse that drives the life of the believer isn’t the need to perform for God but to commune with Him. Only when we perceive the face of the One in whose image we were made do we come to know who we are and the One for whom we were made. And because of who He is, to behold Him and remain unchanged is impossible.

True worship changes our hearts, affirms our identity and propels us into our destiny.

In the following posts, I will explore four characteristics of the heart of worship.