BY ANDREW SHEFFIELD
Worship is war. The great battle of all time is the battle for worship—the battle to win the adoration and service of earth and heaven. And when we gather for corporate worship, part of what we’re doing is fighting in this battle. So we must be serious about our task. We must be serious about being unified in our task. We must be serious about being steadfast in our task. And if we are to be serious, unified, and steadfast, we must above all be focused only on Christ. He is the object of our worship, and He is the reason we can worship rightly. So fix your eyes on Him, continuing to come together week in and week out to fight so that Christ will be exalted in His church and in the world.
Andrew Sheffield is Pastor for Worship and Community at Rocky Bayou Baptist Church in Niceville, Georgia.
One vital aspect of good songs is that they are skillfully written, both in words and in music. We as a society tend to value skill less than we value efficiency or expedience; but the Bible clearly values skill—or wisdom—in spite of the extra time and labor it takes to both develop good skills and to employ them.
I can sit down and come up with a few lines of music very quickly; I can do the same with a few lines of verse. What I cannot do very quickly is cultivate a deep understanding of the Word of God and its application to my life, along with a deep understanding and knowledge of language and poetry and communication and/or a deep understanding of singing and music. These skill sets are essential for good songwriting, and I always look for the display of these skills in the songs we sing.
There are many, many badly written songs in use by the Western church today. What does it say about our worship of God when little to no effort, skill, study, and labor go into writing the songs we sing to and about Him? Colossians 3:16 instructs us to “let the Word of Christ dwell richly” in us, which should result in rich singing, not anything that is poor, unskillful, or lazy. May our exalted view of God lead us to exalted, skillful, rich worship—the kind of worship of which only He is worthy.
Originally appeared in the April 2010 Newsletter