Time to discuss Week 2, Day 4 of the Pure Praise Study, "Vocal Praise".
Today focuses on 3 types of vocal praise.
Most of us are great at using one of or two of these. The study goes into the importance of shouting our praise, singing our praise and speaking out our praise.
Are we missing something?
Is there more of a fullness in our worship if we are using all 3 of these?
Spread the word! This is a much needed discussion.
In my fairly traditional church, if I go in there and suddenly start using all we have learned the past two days, it will quickly become my former church.
Even though I understand what God wants, the people of the church do not, and before we as a church can begin worshipping as God intended, the whole church needs to understand biblical worship. So for me, it is a slow curve.
As for the three vocal ways to worship, yes, all three are scriptural, and should be practiced. But I do not see them as equal. Here's why:
I believe that God designed us to respond to music in a unique way. There is something about music that stirs our souls, touches our hearts in a way that few other things do. The great classical pieces, a mushy love ballad, a patriotic march, a great praise song, or a quiet worship song- all of these can reach a place in our heart that shouting or speaking don't reach. And that is how we were created.
Most of us are musicians, so we know the power that music has over us. It has the same power on most others, too. So for me, I will focus most of my private and corporate worship on music, singing. I will not forsake or ignore shouting and speaking; they have their place.
Your church may be different; if it is, do what works for your church. Just as God gave each of us our individual personality, so He has given different personalities to His churches.
Great thoughts Wanna Be.
I agree about music moving and touching people in different ways and that our expressions are gonna be different from place to place.
Like I said on yesterday's post. These encouragements to praise are usable in a corporate setting, but I think are intended to be exercises in individual "horizon stretching." Most, if not all of us all into 2 categories:
1) We were raised in a very conservative church that looked down on the more demonstrative expressions of praise from the more charismatic* churches (intentionally or unintentionally). So we view them with disdain.
2) We were raised in a very charismatic* church the looked down on the less demonstrative expressions of praise from the more conservative churches (intentionally or unintentionally). So we view them with disdain.
Of course there is the other category: We are not a part of any church and we think you are ALL crazy for singing to, dancing for, and praying to a god nobody can see.
Anyways, I think what's important in this study is not necessarily to try and focus on implementing these expressions in your corporate gathering, but to celebrate the diversity of Biblical worship expressions individually and to exercise your faith in your own worship space privately (including the 3rd vocal praise "sharing").
I would personally prefer someone who shares their "praises" with someone who is unchurched genuinely than someone who gives a "Praise Report" every Sunday in church because it is the thing to do.
Great study today.
All good stuff! I think it's important to draw distinctions here between our personal worship and our corporate worship. Looking at the passages mentioned today - shouting was not often used in what we would consider "traditional" corporate worship. The Israelites often shouted before battle, and while it was certainly a form of worship and praise, I don't think it was necessarily the same type of situation that most of us find ourselves in on a typical Sunday morning. Having said that... singing is obviously a very big part of most churches, as is speaking in many.
To echo what Russ said, I think there is a huge application here for our private, personal worship, because if we are to use these disciplines in our corporate worship (and I'm not necessarily saying that we always should), we have to be comfortable with them in our private lives, first.
This is a great discussion - we are working on BUILDING the corporate praise 'comfort level' in our church - buried in the heart of the mountains of Vermont, we are really pleased that there is a LOT more singing out, hands being raised, even some clapping more and more lately, with the occasional 'whoo' at the end of a more upbeat number (and ONE time we have had a gentleman dancing in the aisle). About four years ago this church made a very hard decision - to turn from traditional, even mixed, music sets and go right for more edgy, ect - and we have gone from a lot of traditional hymns, with harmony and piano to the Praise Band -
So, I am actually praising at home in the morning in new ways with this study! Usually, I am on my knees OR sometimes sing OR sometimes raise hands - but these two days are a first when I combine all three! And, it has been eye (heart!) opening.
For me, what this will do is bring more of an authenticity to what I do 'on stage'. While I NEVER do anything because I 'think' I should 'raise my hands here', I believe that having a more physical aspect to my worship here at home can only lead to a more relaxed, physical lead worshiper at church!
Who KNOWS what THAT could lead to!
I didn't "get it" this morning so I decided to do some other stuff and then come back to the study. God is so faithful! He led me to the thing He knew would touch my heart and illustrate what I needed to see this morning. I was digging around Itunes looking for new songs and came across Rush of Fools' "Wonder of the World", so I went on Youtube to listen to the whole thing. The video that is posted there is so beautiful -- these ordinary Christians in ordinary circumstances stop listening to the world and listen to the Spirit, then the light of Christ just flows around them and amazes those around them. I know it may seem cheesy to get your inspiration from a video, but this one really illustrated what we're talking about today -- as long as I can speak I'll say so! As we say to the 3-year-olds, "use your words." I forget that I have all of these other resources to praise the King because I rely so heavily on music. God didn't just give me a mouth for singing but for witnessing to His power and glory on earth. Read Isaiah 55:10-11.
Great study today - you know, I think the line that meant the most to me was this one:
I think Satan robs us of the beauty of praise so often because we are downcast, tired, lethargic, stressed, and maybe, even convicted of sin. Yet, God commands us to praise.That's how we can get up week after week and sing and praise with consistent enthusiasm. We always have hope!
Hi everyone - I've been sick these last few days and haven't commented much, but I am better and am back. I have been studying this week's devotionals and they are great!
Vocal Praise - Well, I grew up in a charismatic, non-denominational church and never left. So, I have not experienced the more "traditional" services as many of you have. What I have learned is that there is a time and a place for everything. There is a time to speak in a service as a form of praise, there is a time to sing in a service as a form of praise and there is a time to shout. By service that can mean in the congregation or in your private time.
There is a time for it all. Would a great shout be appropriate during a quiet hymn of "How Great Thou Art"? Probably not. As leaders, would it be appropriate to take a break to speak at length while our congregation is entering in on "How Great is Our God"? Probably not.
My point is that all of these expressions of praise are biblical. Honestly, our church participates in all of them practically every Sunday. But there is a time and a place for everything. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to guide us and show us the way to use the expressions that the Lord has given us.
Hope that's not too complicated sounding. Didn't mean for it to be
Glad you are better, Erika.
Great comments all around, but REALLY great stuff from Wanna be, Russ, and Erika. It is great to see that, though we come from diverse backgrounds, we all seem to GET this.
Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!
I was raised in a Baptist Church – shouting was the most formal way of praising God, which I saw. I never was one for shouting and use to think that I was missing something or was not where I was suppose to be.
I now belong to charismatic, non-denominational church; and we praise God in so many various ways. Worshiping now for me, is mostly by lifting of hands, verbal praise such as “Hallelujah”, “glory to God”, kneeling at the altar or speaking in tongues. However, the Holy Spirit leads me.
I have often heard people say that it does not take all that. But I now know that until you been in my shoes and know where he has brought and deliver me from; (just know that it take that and more sometimes).