This past weekend my church celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ with a time of incredible worship that included great music, a powerful message, and 14 baptisms. One of the memorable moments was when a group of about 30 musicians sang the worship song “My Story”. During this song, several people stepped forward and sang about how Jesus had changed their lives. It was particularly moving because I knew these people were not just singing someone else’s words, they were proclaiming the reality of Jesus in their own life. From a young female singer in her early 20’s to a seasoned gentleman in his mid 70’s, the age span of the people who stepped up to sing was over 50 years! It was an inspirational moment that pointed people to God. At times like this I’m reminded of this simple Truth:
Authentic worship transcends generations, cultures, and musical styles. A famous Psalm puts it this way:
“…young men and women, old men and children…praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted”
There is something real, sweet, and powerful when God’s people come together to worship Him above and beyond differences in age, race, and culture.
In 1st Chronicle 25, a lesser-known but highly instructive passage in the Old Testament, we learn a little about how worship was organized and carried out in the time of King David:
“David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals… All these men were under the supervision of their father for the music of the temple of the Lord, with cymbals, lyres and harps, for the ministry at the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the supervision of the king. Along with their relatives—all of them trained and skilled in music for the Lord—they numbered 288. Young and old alike, teacher as well as student, cast lots for their duties.”
There is a lot to unpack in that little passage, but right now just consider the last line. Both young worship musicians and grey-haired (or balding) instrumentalists and singers stood side by side in leading people to God. Gifted teachers served alongside the ones they were coaching. Asaph, who is acknowledged as a writer of some Psalms, not only supervised these musicians but also probably drew his name from a hat just like everyone else to determine when he would serve.
I’m not suggesting that all churches worship God in a watered-down, generic way or merely try to please all people, ages, and cultures in our worship experiences. We need to celebrate the rich diversity of worship and musical styles that God has given us and be true to the unique calling He has placed on our individual church gatherings. We must be true to God and His Word while creating worship experiences that are relevant and accessible to the specific group of people we are called to serve.
I’m simply saying that we remember and encourage the depth of worship that happens when gifted musicians of all ages come together to lead God’s people to His throne of mercy and grace. The Bible puts it this way:
“How wonderful, how beautiful,
when brothers and sisters get along!”
It’s like costly anointing oil
Psalm 133:1-2 (The Message)
God’s anointing flows rich and deep when our worship demonstrates the authentic unity of His people!
God bless you.