In Philippians 1:21, St. Paul makes one of those jaw-dropping statements that can be meditated on for a lifetime and more:
“…For to me, to live is Christ…”
How about letting this verse impact our worship?
Let's think about it—how amazing would it be if we could live and lead our sessions in a manner that inspires us to say, “For to me, to worship is Christ!”
In this post, let’s look at some of the ways in which we can engulf our worship into the vast expanse of the wonder of Jesus.
4 tips to lead Christ centered Worship
No my friend, I am not advocating suicide.
I am talking about dying to self and letting go of our fleshly desires to make worship attractive/interesting/entertaining—for that would turn the spotlight that belongs to Christ alone upon us. Instead, think about what Jesus would want from His Church's worship and lead out of that mindset.
Out of this embrace of self-death, our dependence will shift from our talent/ability/experience to the Holy Spirit who will then bring out a worship that's far more authentic and holier than we would have otherwise offered—trust me on this one!
1. Represent Christ
Am I still arrested by the love of God or is it the lure of the stage these days?
Am I pursuing God’s will as the food of my life or is it all about me, myself and my latest favorite song?
Am I willing to encourage, train and equip others in worship ministry or am I wallowing in insecurity possessively hogging the stage?
Do I value integrity and personal prayer-life above ministry?
Can I take suffering in my stride or am I constantly murmuring when things don’t go too well for me?
I doubt any of us will ever declare “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) like St. Paul!
But that doesn’t mean we don’t strive to be Christ like either. Here are a few questions to ponder:
Your team and others watch you and when they see Christ in you, they will follow your footsteps far more comfortably and confidently—inevitably, this will also reflect positively in the way your stage ministry functions.
2. Tell the story
Check your song lyrics—are we too caught up with songs about me, what I can do for God, my emotions and feelings and so on? While such songs are not bad by themselves, too much of them can skew our worship towards self-centeredness than God-centeredness.
Let’s sing more about the greatest story of all—of Christ saving us again and again and again! Sing of His Cross, His mercy, His justice, His Blood, His ridiculously extravagant love, His resurrection… you see, a gospel focus is crucial to instill joy and life into our worship.
Let's make the story of Jesus Christ the cornerstone of worship.
3. Marry songs with scripture
When selecting songs, let's not just be seduced by things like the melody, other musical attributes or the songwriter's reputation.
Rather, it's important to use the mind too when following the heart. Let's strive to use songs that are correct in theology, rich in lyrics and firmly grounded upon the Word of God.
At times, it’s also helpful to take a few moments to explain the song, maybe even quoting the scripture verses that the lyrics are based on.
Carefully choose appropriate verses from the Bible and read/recite them between songs or over an instrumental interlude during a song. Keep it short with 1 or 2 verses, else it could be distracting.
I've said this before, but I'll say it again: There's no other tangible means of placing Christ at the center of our worship than the Eucharistic meal. It brings alive the Story right before our eyes enabling us to join with John the Baptist and joyously proclaim, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)
Let's lead the kind of worship that routes us to Communion—there's no deeper climax to worship than this—not the most artistic of lyrics or the sweetest of melodies. For it’s at the table that Christ becomes the sole focus of our worship enabling us to joyously proclaim, “For to me, to worship is Christ!”