What Worship Music is All About
Featuring Bruce Kunkle Posted on April 22, 2010
All this emphasis on quality may be misleading. The purpose of a worship team is not to produce quality worship music. Their purpose is to lead others into the presence of God by being “lead worshipers”, that is, by modeling worship in their lives and on the platform. If the best way to do that did not involve quality music, then worship teams would not be necessary.
But many people are distracted from worship by poor quality worship music. As a worship team, our goal is “to get out of the way” and let God work in our midst. Our purpose is to facilitate whatever move the Holy Spirit would make in our worship service. We are not there to put on a show, or to call attention to ourselves. But if our music isn’t entertaining simply because the quality is poor, then we are showing contempt for God’s name. Where does that idea come from? Malachi 1:16-14 says:
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the LORD Almighty. “It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’
“You place defiled food on my altar. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.
“Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”—says the LORD Almighty.
“Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD Almighty.
“But you profane it by saying of the LORD’s table, ‘It is defiled,’ and of its food, ‘It is contemptible.’ And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the LORD Almighty. “When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the LORD.
“Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.
The Old Testament law was plain. Deuteronomy 15:21 says:
If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the LORD your God.
Our worship music is to be a sacrifice of praise . If we have it within us to present flawless music, God is not pleased when we offer up “a lame sacrifice.”
So the point is to present a sacrifice worthy of our Lord. But if all we do is concentrate on excellence in music, we miss a very important point that Amos speaks of when he describes notable men of the foremost country to whom people of Israel come as follows: “You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. ” He condemns them because they did not “grieve over the ruin of Joseph” and says, “Therefore, you will be among the first to go into exile.”
We are here to worship. That is our priority and our purpose. If that does not affect our hearts, then we might as well stay in bed. As we genuinely worship God, others will follow. We can make it easy for them by playing and singing good music, or we can make it hard with mediocre music.
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