By Jared Ulrich
Worship Manager, Department of Spiritual Life
What worship songs are we singing ?
This is, by far, the most frequently asked question I get as a worship leader. And the minute people don’t approve of the song list for any given time of worship, I typically hear about it right away:
I don’t really like that song. I just don’t connect with it.
I just can’t worship to that song.
“That song has bad theology.
The truth is that these statements do hold some weight and can be helpful in creating a healthy and authentic worship experience.
However, most of the time, we hold our personal styles and preferences above any objective analysis. There are plenty of worship songs that I personally don’t like or enjoy singing.
But does that mean those are bad songs? Not necessarily. When it comes to our corporate times of worship, we must understand one simple truth:
Worship is not for us, but rather it is something we give to God.
If we truly understand this, then we will begin to spend less time gauging our worship times from how they make us feel and more time celebrating and glorifying the one we worship. Furthermore, the specific songs we sing and the style of music being played will become less and less of an issue to us.
Whenever I find myself in a situation where I’m involved in corporate worship, instead of being critical and focusing on how the worship time is moving me, I try to challenge myself to pour out my heart in praise to God for who He is and what He has done.
There have been plenty of times when I haven’t resonated with the style of music or the song selection, or even the quality of the music, but when I remember that it is not for me, I am freed up to fix my eyes and heart of God.
We all have preferences on music styles, theological convictions and denominational backgrounds. It is completely okay to have these preferences. It is okay not to like certain worship songs. It is alright if you don’t agree theologically with a song. It is okay if you are uncomfortable with different expressions of worship.
However, don’t believe the lie that you can only worship God if it fits your preference. That’s making worship about you.
Instead of being negative towards different expressions of worship, learn to appreciate other traditions and styles, seeking to join in with other believers in glorifying the God who created us to worship Him.
When you’re tempted to be critical, just remember: Worship is neither for us nor about us.
Worship is for God, to God and all about God.
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