Worship #3: More Than a Song

worshipFor this third article in my series on worship, the material is based on a collection of notes used in a Worship Ministry retreat event back in 2008. Other articles in this series include:

  1. Worship #1: Getting the Most out of Worship
  2. Worship #2: Vibrant Worship in Small Groups


The journey is not about walking around in the desert like the people of Israel, this article takes you through a journey where you can go deeper at every stage. The reflection process should consist of a number of steps that take you to the point of having God’s glory revealed to you. Each of the stations are fairly short and concise – spend the time to meditate on the deeper meaning behind each. In the original format/booklet the material was spaced out such that participants could take notes. Whilst the conversion to this online format loses that look and feel, you can recreate it – pausing in between each.


The aim of this article is to build unity amongst believers who are part of a worship ministry. The Holy Spirit flows where there is unity amongst His people. The Holy Spirit inspired the original event of 2008, with the purpose of enabling believers who are called to the ministry to discover and enhance their spiritual passion. A deep connection with the Holy Spirit will flow into and over the participants of worship ministry in leading a church congregation to worship with new inspiration; a veil will be lifted.

Station #1: Start with Jesus

The starting point of the journey is turning to Jesus for “whenever anyone turns to the Lord the veil is taken away.” (2 Corinthians 3:16). Turn to Jesus. Each believer needs to do that. It is a personalised starting point. The buzz and excitement experienced during a Sunday church service is generated because people turn to Jesus, not because of what happens on stage.

Worship is vital to realising the vision God has for His believers and the key to unlocking our heats to receiving a Word from Him. What matters is the state of our hearts. With a worship team, it does not matter how many people are on stage, or who is playing what instrument, God will use anything and anyone – we simply need to turn our hearts to focus on Him.

Expanding on 2 Corinthians, it is not just a personalised vision, but something  that the whole body of believers/church can tap into. The unveiling is a deliberate act by God, intentional in seeking a transformation in each of our lives. The following is something I was led by God to write up back in 2008:

The Lord’s Glory is shining upon me

His mercies flowing over my life

Show me Your ways,

That I may sing Your praise

Jesus, unveil,

Take away this sin from my life


The Lord’s Glory is shining all around me

His grace overwhelms my whole life

Show me Your ways,

For all of my days

Jesus, reveal,

That I may go to the foot of the cross


Station #2: Surrender to His Purpose

We can accept Jesus’ invitation and His presence by surrendering to His purpose.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17

We welcome the Holy Spirit to grant us freedom from the internal human battles that we face. In welcoming the Holy Spirit, we engage in the flow of His Spirit. When we engage in the flow of God’s Spirit, we end up dwelling with the Holy Spirit. We can invite Him to have His way in us. Giving over control to God enables us to surrender our will to Him. The flow of the Holy Spirit is often hindered by disunity in the body and our human agenda.


Station #3: Trust God for the Answer

We live in a results-oriented world/society. The challenge is to live not my the world standards, by instead by God’s direction and principles.

In that day they will say “Surely this is our God, we trusted in Him and He saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation” Isaiah 25:9

Trust and be saved. Give God the focus instead of the goal, and by following His path, we sill still reach and achieve the goal, but according to His purpose, and now our own.


Station #4: Being Led by God During Worship

In order to be led by God during a time of worship, we need to first recognise His voice. Zephaniah 3:17 states that God is with you, He is mighty to save. 1 Peter 2:5 also says:

Come as living stones, and let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple, where you will serve as holy priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ.

Be led by God in the silence of worship. During those moments, let Him flow. Create the space during worship with and through silence. Remember that God does not have to use the intensity of music and sound to manifest Himself; even to Moses and Elijah, God came as a still small voice.

Cry out to God – let Him hear the cry of  your heart. Lord have mercy on us. Seek Him constantly and persistently. Develop the hunger and desire for Him to just be Lord over all.

Meditate on the Psalms:

  • Psalms 23 – the Lord is my Shepherd
  • Psalms 63 – desire after God
  • Psalms 84 – how lovely are Your dwelling places

Recall the passage of Matthew 20:30-34 where the blind men shout out to the passing Messiah “Son of David! Have mercy on us! They persist even with the crowd attempting to quieten them – only a response from Jesus will satisfy their need. Whilst their request is simple – give them their sight back – there is much more jam-packed into the simple statement. It is their recognition of Jesus as the Messiah which their spiritual eyes allowed them to see. It was through this faith that Jesus worked His miraculous touch to restore their eyesight. In truth, their mind’s eye and heart for Jesus was a big part of their restoration by Jesus.


Station #5: Reflecting and Listening to God

Often we do not hear anything from God because we do not stop and listen. However, when we do, the Spirit will often put a word from God into our minds. Paul expected to hear from God in his praying 2 Corinthians 12:8 – 10:

Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Often the Holy Spirit whispers to us. What do we have to do to hear a whisper? Many things in life cause spiritual static that drowns out the voice of the Holy Spirit. By removing these veils we are able to see what the Holy Spirit is trying to communicate. Psalm 119:130 states:

The explanation of your teachings gives light and brings wisdom to the ignorant.

Romans 12:11 literally translates as “Be aglow with the Spirit”. Our human spirit can only be kept on fire by the Holy Spirit. Just as a bride prepares herself to look her very best on her wedding day, so the church, as the bride of Christ, should be preparing ourselves for that great day.

Matthew 7:7 – 8 states:

Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.

Prayer is not meant to be duty nor a ritual, but an exciting adventure in our relationship with God to help us engage with the world. Prayer is happy company with God according to Bishop Clement of Alexandria. Once we understand that our identity, security and destiny are in the hands of God our Father, our friend, then prayer is bound to follow. We will want to talk and as we talk, listen. The Holy Spirit inspires us in this. Romans 8:25:

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

According to Lutheran theologian Ole Hallesby, “to pray is nothing more than to lie in the sunshine of His grace.”


Station #6: Trusting God Through Other People

Our people are anointed and possess gifts from God. God places people in a particular situation for a particular season. Servant-based leadership in the Kingdom of God retains a humility in recognising God’s authority. When members of a group understand and see the anointing of God, it helps to release that anointing.

How wonderful it is, how pleasant,
for God’s people to live together in harmony!
It is like the precious anointing oil
running down from Aaron’s head and beard,
down to the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew on Mount Hermon,
falling on the hills of Zion.
That is where the Lord has promised his blessing—
life that never ends. Psalm 133:1 – 3


God was also at work in Judah and united the people in their determination to obey his will by following the commands of the king and his officials. 2 Chronicles 30:12


Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head. Under his control all the different parts of the body fit together, and the whole body is held together by every joint with which it is provided. So when each separate part works as it should, the whole body grows and builds itself up through love. Ephesians 4:15 – 16

God calls us as individuals, but as individuals destined to become a new community. Like the spokes of a wheel, the closer we come to one another, being a believer is more than just the relationship between the individual and Jesus – it is something we work through together. Our faith is personal but never private. 1 Peter 2:9 states:

But you are the chosen race, the King’s priests, the holy nation, God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvelous light.

Living out a solitary faith as a believer in Christ is impossible. Therefore, let us celebrate and rejoice in the body that unites at each opportunity, giving praise and glory unto the Lord. When two or three greet and meet under the name and Lordship of Jesus, there He is with them. Even if we pursue a time of meditation with God, His relational character and nature compels us to consider others, and thus we return to fellowship with other believers. Even when we isolate ourselves, the moment we pray and seek God, we know we are not alone.

To be clear, we are not suggesting that we place our faith in other people. To do this is folly since our human flaws will create and lead to disappointment. Instead, have faith in God to work through His people. Trust God that He will work and use His people however flawed and sinful they are.