Home Worship & Creative Leaders Articles for Worship & Creative When It Comes to Worship, Don’t Hold Back

When It Comes to Worship, Don’t Hold Back

Christians like to talk about church music and call it worship. Church music usually is a means by which Christians worship.

But worship is much more than music.

We even have our own “worship wars” in which we decide what “style” of worship is right, wrong or most biblical. I still see the phrases “contemporary worship” and “traditional worship” plastered on church signs, as though worship can be defined by such descriptors.

In our debates about the biblical nature of worship, we usually ask questions that are fair enough …

Is this about Jesus? Or is it about the performer?

Are the lyrics theologically correct and deep? Or are they shallow?

Are people participating? Or is this a one-way performance?

Can we use drums? Smoke? Colored lights? Can it be loud?

Is it still worship if we use drums, smoke, colored lights and it’s really loud?

We’ve missed the point. When I read about acts of worship in the Bible, I find myself asking different questions …

Are we increasing our adoration of King Jesus?

Are we being real and authentic?

Does my life back up what my lips offer up?

Is this a witness to nonbelievers?

Is there as much room for my brokenness in this act as there is for my joy?

We had only been in town a month or so to start planting Grace Hills when I first met our Worship Pastor, Neil Greenhaw. I sat at lunch with him and asked if he would consider leaving his role at a great, successful megachurch to start from scratch with no promise of success.

I had never heard Neil sing or play guitar at that point, but I knew in his heart he wanted to lead people in authentically expressing their praise to God and raise up a generation of worshipers to impact our culture.

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Brandon Cox is Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church, a new church plant in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community Facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox and was formerly a Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In his spare time, he offers consultation to church leaders about communication, branding, and social media. He and his wife, Angie, live with their two awesome kids in Bentonville, Arkansas.