“The time has come for a revival of public worship as the finest of the fine arts… While there is a call for strong preaching there is even a greater need for uplifting worship” – Andrew W. Blackwood
Why would Andrew Blackwood maintain (in this quote from his book ‘The Fine Art of Public Worship’) that there is a greater need for uplifting worship than the preaching of God’s Word? I have often heard people say that the worship in church lays the platform for the word to be preached and whilst I don’t necessarily disagree with that I don’t think the heart of our worship to help the preaching.
So why do we corporately sing together in our church meetings? I can only think of two other places where corporate singing occurs other than in church – on the football/rugby terraces or at School Assembly (you might have thought of others but these are the only ones that occurs to me).
On the Terraces singing brings unity between supporters there can be a call and response between supporters of different sides as they sing the various merits of their team or the failings of the other side.
At school assembly was supposed to be an ‘act of worship’ in reality it was a couple of hymns (usually sung badly!) and notices for the day. It really didn’t feel like God was in it at all!
And so we come the crux of what is worship for…
Simply worship is the encounter between heaven and earth. It is earth response to the wonder and glory of our God. Worship does bring us corporately closer together in an act of unity, and when we have been in HIS presence our outlook gets re-defined in the light of who HE is.
There was a time when the church was full of musicians and artist who were the movers and shakers in the art world influencers in their society – what happened? Have we so wanted to be come ‘relevant’ that we have lost our edge?
I believe the challenge for any of us involved in the creative arts is to pray and seek Gods creativity that we will once again be at the forefront of the arts rather than copying it.
I pray our churches and streets will be filled with uplifting, challenging, creative, redemptive, healing, spirit filled, life changing worship.