Rehearsal for Heaven: A Vision for Worship
"Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:11-12)
Over the course of time, I've been refining what I think about worship. Whatever worship is and does, it eventually leads to this place -- where a throng of individuals want no other thing than to be near the presence of the Lamb of God. To be in a place where every longing, wish, and want has come to full realization because Jesus is there.
God has given me the privilege to lead His people in worship. So how do I get from where we are today to the vision I see in Revelation 5? It is thoughts like these that have shaped in me a philosophy of worship that I call "Rehearsal for Heaven: A Philosophy of Worship".
Here's what I have so far:
Through the revelation of God’s Word and dependence upon the Holy Spirit, we want to see and savor the Person of Jesus Christ, to hunger for God’s presence, and to perpetuate a passion for His glory in our community and around the world. We want to nurture an environment where people are drawn in to see and meet with God, to hunger for more of Him, to engage with His Word, to appreciate the fullness of the Person and work of Jesus Christ, and to respond in like manner with a whole-hearted, contagious passion for God’s glory. This is the warm-up for that moment when faith becomes sight.
Life is worship. It’s a continuous interaction with God’s on-going revelation of Himself, His world, His Word, and His Son. We sing, play instruments, run tech, or whatever else as an outlet for worship; but these expressions of worship are merely channels, avenues, or conduits. The substance of true worship begins with God’s revelation of Himself and ends in genuine expressions of enjoyment, praise, thanksgiving, confession, supplication, and adoration. Our goal is to nurture lifestyle worshipers who know God, grow in Christ-likeness, and show His love to the world. In the next blog, I'll unpack these three goals and how they prepare us for worship -- both here and now as well as there and then.