There once was a church that published names in the bulletin…

There once was a church that published names in the bulletin of the “special music” vocal solos every week. (Yes, even I’ve done this in the distant past.)  Some of the vocalists sang like larks — others barked.  And it usually turned out that people would whisper to their own family members and friends ahead of time, “Look who’s singing today…it’s gonna
be goooood. I love it when they sing.”  And on those off weeks the comment would be, “See who’s singing today (rolling the eyes).  Hope it’s a short song today.”

I’ve heard people say years ago, “Well, I don’t know who they are if their names aren’t published?”  Oh really?  Does it really matter you know who they are?  Are you more concerned about the lark singing, or the content of the song lyrics?  What about going up to them following the morning and introduce yourself if you REALLY need to know who it is?  Who’s the focus when we say WE NEED TO KNOW WHO’S SINGING?

That leads to ask the question, “Are we waiting for the planets to align in order for us to worship.” Come on, admit it…we love it when it seems like everything is “perfect” and it appears something authentic, meaningful, and heartfelt took place in a church worship environment.  You know what it looks like — that perfect combination of vocalists, the lighting levels are such, volume levels are ideal (for you), the songs were your favorites, the hymn/modern song ratio was in your preference, the cloths worn on stage didn’t distract or embarrass you, and everything else that typically would make you think about something other than God simply vanished…and God was left as the object of your worship.

Question.  At what point did we needs the planets to align in order for us to focus on God?

News flash, the planets rarely, and sometimes never, align. So stop waiting.  Stop caring.  Stop pining for something that is not God-centered.

So what do we do? For starters, let’s make a decision ahead of time to make God our focus before we show up and begin to make us the focus.  We, the worshippers, have the complete ability to make the decision to make worship about us or all about God.

Which will it be for you this week?

Not To Us

Verse 1

The cross before me the world behind
No turning back raise the banner high
It’s not for me it’s all for You
Let the heavens shake and split the sky
Let the people clap their hands and cry
It’s not for us it’s all for You

Chorus 1

Not to us, but to Your name be the glory
Not to us, but to Your name be the glory

Verse 2
Our hearts unfold before Your throne
The only place for those who know
It’s not for us it’s all for You
Send Your holy fire on this offering
Let our worship burn for the world to see
It’s not for us it’s all for You

Bridge 1

The earth is shaking
The mountains shouting
It’s all for You
The waves are crashing
The sun is raging
It’s all for You
The universe spinning and singing
It’s all for You
Your children dancing dancing dancing
It’s all for YouIt’s all for You

CCLI Song No. 4046093¬© 2001 songs | sixsteps Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing) | (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)Chris Tomlin | Jesse ReevesFor use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use.  All rights Reserved. http://www.ccli.comCCLI License No. 21985


2 Responses to There once was a church that published names in the bulletin…

  1. Cory Zipperle says:

    We often look for what we want in our worship offering to God before we will worship God. The net result is that when we wait to worship God with what we find acceptable, we end up never worshiping God – even if we thought we did. The worship we end up giving ends up being worship of ourselves.

    Waiting for what we want is to be expected in immature worshipers. But a mature worshiper should be able to give his or her offering to God no matter what is going on around them. This is something that I think the Church in general fails to communicate. We don’t do a very good job of maturing the worshiper.

    This is why we have people that have been in the church 20-30-40 years who complain about our worship offering of music when it isn’t hymns. They went all that time without ever maturing their worship offering. This isn’t right and offers a glimpse in to why the Church in America is shrinking in numbers and losing respect.

  2. judy chase says:

    In response to the original article and, a little to the reply of 10/11, I would like to say that I support the concept that is not important for us to know who is leading the worship offering when we are to be worshipping as a member of the larger group–the congregation. It is partly about the music, but plain song can be worshipful, any music can be worshipful–or full of worship– if the lyrics are centered on the one being worshipped. My understanding is that our church we desire that God the Father, the Trinity–Almighty God, Jesus Christ our Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Sustainer, soon coming King– are the ones worshipped. I would like to say that as I consider the lyrics posted above for Not to Us mostly refer to us and other created entities rather than to God. Many of the wonderful hymns of the past and quite a number of more current songs are God focused. If we look at the psalms that are worship psalms, some of the scriptures in Isaiah that have been used for both older and more modern worship songs, and the worship of the angels and the 24 elders for example in Revelation, we see God focussed, God extolling lyrics. People who have not been in the church for 20-3o-40 years can also need maturing in worship if they have a mindset that new is always or even mostly better. It truly is [IMO] as Bryan has said in this article and as he said during our first meeting this season about the lyrics and also, offering our best effort [gift] whether today that is a lark or a bark–as long as our heart and mind and strength are centered and offered to HIM.

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