Music Ministry

What Is Worship?

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female. – Genesis 1:26-27

Man is a reflection of God drawing attention back to Him. The very beginning of understanding worship is to understand God created man and with some of His own similarities. Man is not God, but man is a mere reflection of God. That means man was designed to not only look in some ways similar to God in physical form but equally important is man was designed by God to exemplify the spiritual characteristics of God. His love, goodness, kindness, holiness, and so on. The very beginning of understanding worship as a Christian is to acknowledge God is Creator. He designed us to point to and glorify Him.

Worship is the action of bowing or lifting toward. The word worship is both yielding in reverence “bowing” and then by fixing our eyes on our Creator and Christ “lifting toward”. Our act of worship is a life-long, day in day out, endeavor to be fully surrendered, yielded, sacrificed to the will and very being of God for His good pleasure. We are created to worship God. After all we were birthed from God’s creativity. Every human though created by God has been given free will. The ability to yield or rebel against our very creator. God wants our worship, not because of anything we have done or could do, but because from the very beginning we are His.

But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. – John 4:23

Our passion as worshipers is to be the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. We want to know we are worshiping His way to bring honor to Him. God’s word says true worshipers. This breaks worship into two people groups, real versus fake. True worshipers worship in spirit and in truth. We must first look at truth to get the priorities correct.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6

The first part of being a worshiper is to acknowledge that true worship is centered fully around Christ. Jesus is the truth and worshiping anyone or anything else is a lie. His truth extends throughout scripture so to worship God in truth is to see Christ throughout all of scripture. Worship must uphold the integrity and inerrancy of God’s word, truth.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. – Romans 12:1 (emphasis added)

The second part of worship is being fully given to God. This means fully rejecting fleshly desires and fully striving to align our actions with God’s word. This is not referring to physical death but surrendering to Him our fleshly self, thinking of the old self as dead.

To use the word worship to describe the actions and attitudes of our Sunday morning service means we design it to draw all the attention, affection and praise to God for who He is and what He has done as stated in His word. To assume that worship is completed in one setting on a Sunday morning or only in songs would be to cheapen the real meaning of worship. Worship should happen in every moment of the Christian’s life. A choice to use all that we are to glorify God and not self.

What Is Praise?

He is your praise and he is your God, who has done for you these great and awe-inspiring works your eyes have seen.. – Deuteronomy 10:21

Sing to him; sing praise to him; tell about all his wondrous works! – 1 Chronicles 16:9

Instantly he could see, and he began to follow him, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. – Luke 18:43

to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. – Ephesians 1:6

Praise is an expression of gratitude directed to God acknowledging who He is and all He has done.  It is vocal, expressive and many times is tied to singing or making a joyful noise for those people who cannot sing well.

Sing to the Lord, you his faithful ones, and praise his holy name.. – Psalm 30:4

They are also to stand every morning to give thanks and praise to the Lord, and likewise in the evening.. – 1 Chronicles 23:30

Praise can be spontaneous when a person responds to an acknowledgement of God.  Praise can also be orchestrated at specific times when the church unites as one voice to acknowledge God. 

For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God. – Romans 14:11

Therefore, through him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. – Hebrews 13:15

A voice came from the throne, saying, Praise our God, all his servants, and the ones who fear him, both small and great! Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying, Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty, reigns! Let us be glad, rejoice, and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself. – Revelation 19:5-7

The Christian should praise God.  There are no excuses that negate our involvement in praise especially at an organized time when the church gathers to draw all the attention to God.  Christian’s are the church, the Bride of Christ, and therefore we must praise the very God who redeemed us.  We are unified participants in praise, not inactive spectators.

West Haven Song Bank

Serving in the Music Ministry

They numbered 288 together with their relatives who were all trained and skillful in music for the Lord. – 1 Chronicles 25:7

West Haven’s praise band members possess four characteristics.

  1. First, they are passionately pursuing Christ. They are humble, living in full surrender to God. This being visibly displayed in their actions. Worship is not about any individual being the center of attention. “Highly skilled talent” and “humility” are characteristics that must be equally evident to serve in the praise band.
  2. Second, each person is skilled in the area God has gifted them. Skills are shown through; natural talent, an ongoing effort to improve, stage presence and the ability to follow instruction.
  3. Third, each member shows enthusiasm for West Haven. They represent the church and Christ by living a godly lifestyle in and out of church. They are active in the church beyond the praise band.
  4. Fourth, they are able to work in a team setting. There must be an atmosphere of good attitudes and joy serving together for a praise band to gel and work effectively.

Anyone wishing to be considered for the praise band must first go through an interview and vocal/instrument audition.

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