What Is Worship? Whom Do We Worship?
When we worship, we make Christ the central focus of our affection. We sense God’s presence with us, the Spirit of God touching us, and communicating to us the Father’s love.
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Early Encounters With God
The Vineyard movement has been said to be among the most significant early influencers of the contemporary worship movements of today. Over the last 30-40 years, experiencing God in gathered worship has been a hallmark of the Vineyard movement. This comes directly from our roots.
When the Vineyard movement was in its earliest years, John and Carol Wimber (John is regarded as the founding leader of the Vineyard) were meeting with a small gathering of worn-out leaders. They were all moved to deep repentance before God. As they spent time together worshipping and singing songs to God (rather than just about God), they experienced God‘s presence in deeply profound and personal ways. It is here that Vineyard worship was born.
Songs of intimate worship became a primary language of prayer for these broken people in those early days, and that love for experiencing God through worship music is now part of the genetic code of the Vineyard.
A Life-Giving Interchange
In those early gatherings, singing to God in worship was personal, and had as much to do with the “broken and contrite heart” (Ps. 51:17) of the person worshipping as it did with any melody they were singing. Though John was a professional musician and known for his expertise as a producer, his understanding of worship always had to do first with God’s love, and our response to it. Simple worship songs seemed to help that life-giving interchange happen.
For that reason, Vineyard worship expressions have always been primarily musical in nature, and intimate in posture. In the Vineyard, the music facilitates the real point of why we’ve gathered – to meet face to face with the God of the Scriptures.
Whom We Worship
When we worship, we make Christ the central focus of our affection. We sense God’s presence with us, the Spirit of God touching us and communicating to us the Father’s love. The Bible shows us the nature of the glorious God we worship:
We worship God as Creator (Gen. 1:1) – the Father, maker and sustainer of all life, who began all things, and will bring history to its consummation.
We worship God as King (Ps. 103:19) – the Lord and sovereign over the cosmos, the benevolent leader of His Kingdom, and the One extending His rule through people who love Him and obey His word.
We worship God as Trinity (Deut. 6:4) – One God expressing Himself in three Persons, dwelling in perfect harmony within the Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We worship God as Savior (Matt. 1:21) – the rescuing God who by Jesus’ life, death on a cross, and resurrection conquers sin and death, making us new creations in Christ.
All of these attributes of God inform our worship, from the way we prepare our hearts for the activity of worship, to the songs we write and choose for our set lists.Worship is an end in itself – it is our opportunity to surrender ourselves again and again to our amazing God. Click To Tweet
To use an analogy from the world of grammar, God is the Subject, who acts in love (the verb) toward us, the Object of His affection. We then respond in love, telling God how grateful we are to Him for all He has done, and is doing, in our lives.
As the adage says, we become like whom or what we worship. We want to be like Jesus.