There is this one passage in the bible that I continually come back to.
In my own personal walk with God there are many verses that I cling to regularly:
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” – John 3:30
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” – Galatians 2:20
Those words continually encourage me and help me align my heart with the heart of God. But there is this one passage that has shaped my vision and direction, my purpose and my practice of being a worship leader more than any other passage.
“But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.”
- 1 Corinthians 14:24-25
now read it again
This chapter in 1 Corinthians is instructing the church in the proper use of the gifts of tongues and of prophecy. Now, as a good Baptist/Christian and Missionary Alliance boy I admit I know a lot less about these gifts of the Spirit than I would like. (Feel free to point me towards some good resources.)
The golden nugget of this passage to me is that Paul is painting us a picture of what could be considered the ultimate church worship service and that is why, as a worship leader, I love this passage so much!
The Role of the Believer
Needless to say (I hope) coming to church is not about what we can get out of it. That’s a selfish, North American mindset that needs to die. The role of the believer in the “ultimate church worship service” is to prophecy about God. That’s a bit of an intimidating word so let’s unpack it a bit. According to Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon the Hebrew word for prophecy, “naba“, can also mean “to sing” and “to speak”. In these two definitions we have a large part of what takes place in a worship service. We, the believers, sing and testify about God’s goodness, grace, forgiveness, and power. We sing about Jesus and the cross, about salvation and redemption. Simple words with HUGE implications. The preacher prophecies for the edification of the believers as they teach the bible to us. As believers I believe our role is to go all out in proclaiming God’s truth. If the truth in these songs, the truth of scripture, has truly changed us why are we dead-pan when we sing and listen to these words? In the ultimate worship service the believers are giving it all to God, with all they’ve got. After all “we are witnesses to these things” (Acts 5:32) that God has done. Do we not believe these things to be true? Do we not want to declare them to each other and to the unbelievers in our midst???
The Response of the Unbeliever
God takes care of this part. The truth is there. It has been proclaimed by the believers. Hopefully it has been presented in a way that the unbeliever is convinced that these “believers’” lives have really been changed. God does the convicting. God is the one drawing the unbeliever to Himself. Imagine this happening in your church! The reality of God becoming so evident as truth is proclaimed that it evokes the kind of response that a person who a moment ago did not know God falls on their face in worship!!!
And that picture right there is why I love this one passage so much.
Let’s believe that this can and will happen!
Let’s commit to being a part of it!
Let’s never hold back our praises, because who knows how God might be working in someone’s heart as we’re lifting His name up!