Monday, February 2, 2009

Get up and Move

I love worship. I especially enjoy the worship services at my church, the VWS. Every once in a while though, I will make the mistake of looking around. What is everyone else doing? And every time that I do this, I can't help but to notice one key thing, most of the people are not singing. Now, this isn't just a phenomenon at the Vineyard Westside. From what I've experienced this is somewhat typical church like behavior. But still, I don't understand. In my mind, I always just assume that everyone is singing until I glance side to side and am I'm proven wrong. The words are up there on the jumbo sized movie theater screen so obviously it's acceptable and even expected for the congregation to sing along. But still, they just stand there with those blank stares. I understand that most people can't sing well but the music is at a high enough volume that no one but God himself can hear you. Yet they just stand there. I don't understand. Whats the point? Maybe one of you can shed some light on this conundrum. What do you do during worship? Why do others do what they do? Help me understand.


Francy said...

Stop looking around! I sing loud and I have a terrible singing voice. I never noticed that people weren't singing. It sounds like they are singing. I haven't raise my arms in the air yet. I'm waiting for the Holy Spirit to seize me one day. By the way, you have a nice singing voice.

Kelly said...

The only time I don't sing is if a song gets me all choked up. Usuallly I am singing as loud as I possibly can. I don't look around, but sometimes notice people in front of me aren't singing and wonder why. How can they just stand there when the worship team is up there rockin'?

Anonymous said...

I think you are forgetting a key point Dan, worship is not just singing where your lips move and a noise comes out.

People sing from the depths of their hearts and you wouldn't know.

People mediate on the words and mull them over in the heart and mind.

People let the music wash over them like rain drops.

People let the surroundings soothe their tired souls.

Sometimes music isn't the person's love language to God.

You may not see the signs of worship that mimic how you worship or have been taught worship is but don't doubt it's power on a person.

Elaine said...

I agree with Kelly. I sing unless I'm getting choked up. What really bugs me is when people think that's it's ok to come to church late (or stand in the lobby and talk) because the worship music isn't the important part of the service. Totally missing the point in my opinion.

elektra said...

if i sing while im standing in one of the pews (hoever you spell it) i feel like im performing for people... i just like feeling the music hit me

DanThoms said...

I agree with you Cindy in your saying that not everyone worships the same way.

elektra, I would encourage you not to feel like you are performing for the people in the pews anymore than when you are on the stage leading worship. Forget the people around you. Close your eyes if you need to. Sing to an audience of one. God loves to hear you worship him and he could care less who is sitting next to you.

I guess I think that a lot of people (not all) may have it in their minds that the folks on stage are the professionals and that's what they do. I'm not easily intimated so yea, easy for me to say. There was a time in my life however that I wasn't so fervent about worship and I shied away from anything that would make anyone look at me. And then one day it hit me, why am I not worshiping the God of the universe and that was it.

Yep, when it comes right down to it, its between them and God.

Anonymous said...

Worship here in Nepal is pretty amazing. They are packed in like sardines all singing loud. If the song says "I lift my hands" you better believe they are going to do it. I've literally seen hundreds of people all at once raise their hands in worship. Its something to see.

Erin Hull said...

Being connected at the heart level and joining with the very spirit of God through worship only comes through true intimacy and a deep love and affection for God. Not to say that singing is the only way to worship, but you can usually tell if someone is engaged or not. As a worship leader I ask myself the same question all the time, why does anyone just stand there? My conclusion is: until lovesick affection for Jesus begin to outweigh any reservations one may have (i.e. what if people are looking at me, I'm afraid of what others think, I'm not comfortable raising my hands, etc., what if I look like a big goober, I'm just not feeling it right now...and so forth) they will not connect with worship at the heart level to the full extent to which they could. I often pray when leading worship that God would encounter the people in such a way that they are overcome with love for Him.
Erin Hull