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When It Comes to Worship, Don’t Hold Back

Thankfully, Neil said yes in response to God’s calling, and he’s taught me a great deal about worship.

Consider the lyrics to one of his singles, “Not Holding Back.”

Hands raised high, reaching to the One I gave my heart, my life;
Head held high, knowing that You love me and my sin I resign;
Jesus is the King of Glory.

I’m calling for You, my Savior;
Begging for You, and Your Spirit;
waiting to move, I’m consumed by You.

Not holding back, I’m giving it all to You;
Worshiping now, in spirit and truth;
Your only Son is coming for us.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done;
I’m not holding back, I’m giving it all to You.

Heart made right, only through the blood and power;
Jesus Christ, crucified, now You’re alive.

The heart of that song set the tone for one of our core values at Grace Hills. Namely,

We won’t hold back when it comes to worship. We will express our love for God freely so that our passion for Him is obvious to a watching world. Jesus is worth it!

As we engage in worship corporately on Sunday, our atmosphere is one of freedom, but not of chaos.

I often look around and see people standing and others sitting. Some are raising their hands with eyes closed while others are politely lip-syncing (and I’m sometimes among them). We never say things like “let’s all smile” or “leave your worries at the door.” We recognize that people worship from places of brokenness as well as places of triumph and we welcome both.

Worship is our offering to God, but He uses the worship conversation as a time to minister to our needs.

The bottom line is, we try to spend very little time looking around and far more looking up.

From our brokenness, we praise the Healer. From our sin-filled, forgiven past, we praise the Forgiver and Redeemer. And with our grace-appropriated, blood-bought future ahead, we praise the coming King. And all the while, we are thankful that such a holy, holy, holy God accepts and relishes in our authentic worship.  

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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.