Friday, February 29, 2008

The Chicken or The Egg?

So, what came first? Will this question ever be answered?

There's a similar question that I see asked all the time among church leaders concerning our time spent together in corporate worship:

Does the Worship prepare us for the Word (very religious term for the "sermon"), or does the Word prepare us for the Worship?

Most Pastors seems to think that the worship (namely the music/song) prepares for the message, and while many worship leaders think the opposite is true, my dealings with others is that most actually agree with their pastor.

My question is, does it really have to be an either/or thing?

What do you think?

Please, take a few minutes to answer the poll below (polls are my new favorite blog toy, if you can't tell), and then explain your answer in the comments.




MilePost13 said...

Seriously? Tell us what you think?

I'll jump in after a few other people have commented.

FreedbyJC said...

Ok I'll bite, Flickr's down for a while.

ok, Let fix our eyes on an elemental truth....The chicken came first cause God created the animals and not the embryos...

Worship is born in our heart...not by the music we hear. Our personal music is the physical outpouring of our personal worship of God.

Worship is of God ... He placed the desire for Him in our hearts and when we satisfy that desire by worshipping Him with our LIVES -not our music- When we love Him by obeying Him we are performing our greatest act of Worship.

Our moment-by-moment worship of Him returns His love to Him through Christ...

When we absolutely surrender OUR WILL -all that is of our earthly self- and pouring all that has filled us, CHRIST, out to God in our offering of praise we truly worship God.

Christ is the WORD ... The Word (Christ and His written Word)is God's gift to us so that we may come to know Him and His love for us.

A Worship service expresses a loving relationship ... we profess our love of Him and his servants tell us of His love for us...all this loving conversation fills us up to overflowing so we can love the world.

Love you Nate ... hug your girls tight and, in prayer, keep them in our Father's most capable hands.

May you be absolutely overwhelmed by His love, GOD BLESS, FreedbyJC

Let us not glide through this world and then slip quietly into heaven, without having blown the trumpet loud and long for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Let us see to it that the devil will hold a thanksgiving service in hell, when he gets the news of our departure from the field of battle. C. T. Studd

Thom said...

Okay, yeah, in not so many words I hold to the same idea here - that true worship is born out of our knowledge of God and of salvation. This knowledge comes from the word. So in essence, the Word gives birth to our reason for worship and worship is not born out of the music as the music is simply the expression of our worship.

However, in light of the other opinion, we all know that music has an affect on us emotionally. This emotional preparation is what (I think) most are referring to when they say that the music "prepares" us to receive the message. In a way, it helps us to re-focus and to 'be in the spirit.'

A church I attended and served at (worship team) for 5 years, did things a little different. They played music first.. sometimes, and other times last, or maybe mixed in here and there. It was much more free creatively speaking than most. I learned a lot in those five years.

So that’s what I have to say about that. Peace all, -tg

Shannon & Jodi said...

I'm going to give a "non-answer", in other words, I can't say which comes first/is more important, because everyone worships in different ways.

I am much more moved by music than my husband is. I use the time at the beginning of the church service (while keeping an eye on our 8 children) to focus my mind on God and worshiping Him. The kids seem to need the transition, as well. I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but I love praising and worshiping my God in song. I am often times brought to tears by the lyrics in a song when they touch my heart.

My husband is rarely moved by music. He has a great voice, sings along, doesn't balk at music, but would much rather get into the "meat" of learning and worship. His motto is "Let's get into the Word and let God teach us something today!". The more bible time, the better.

I guess the point of my ramblings is that each individual worships differently, and hears God in different ways. While one may fellowship with God through music, another my draw close to Him through bible reading and learning. Some may need both.

Our focus needs to be on living our lives the way He directs, learning more about Him, and being an example of Him to our children.


ApplePieMom said...

I don't think that there is any way to separate the two, the word and the worship. I think that they both prepare us to hear God's voice when he speaks to our hearts...that is the true worship, to be in communion with our heavenly father.

Practically, however, I agree with the person who said that, as humans, we have an emotional response to music. I think that having the music/worship prior to the sermon allows for an emotional release that helps cleanse our souls to be better able to hear and accept the spoken word.

Personally, I could have an hour service that is 50 minutes of drop-you-to-your-knees praise and worship and 10 minutes of study and be happy as a clam!

TsMom / Durbette said...

If I may poke my head in here for a moment...IMHO, having served as part of my church's worship team, I believe the worship songs and liturgy can prepare your heart & head for the sermon...

Also, IMHO, the Word is the Bible...

And, the chicken - of course!


Rhea said...

I had never thought about this before I read your post today...but after pondering it for a bit, I'm starting to think that it might be a better idea to have the Word (aka, sermon), and THEN the music.

The Goodman's said...

I kind of wish you had an option to vote for both.

I would lean more towards worships prepares you for the word. At our church, the songs we sing before the sermon tend to be focused on what Pastor is going to preach on. It helps sort of get your mind thinking about it before the Pastor expands on it.

I also like worshiping before the sermon, because it can help "wind" me down from a stressful week and calm my heart and mind to be more prepared to listen and focus on what is being said rather than stewing over my inabilities of the week.

I will have to say that it also depends on the type of worship. I know this is very much a touchy subject for some and I respect everyone's personal preferences. I am grateful our church offers 1 service that is still more traditional. We have one service where the band does not play and sometimes we sing more traditional hymns instead of the fast paced praise songs. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy those praise songs, but at church I like to be more traditional and sing the old hymns.

Thanks for this post and getting us to think.