Recently I was asked, “What are your suggestions for a Christian to experience meaningful worship?” What a great question! It can be answered in a variety of ways, but here I will limit my response to the weekly worship gathering.
In this post, I would like to summarize a few observations that I have made over the last ten years. These are merely opinions, so feel free to disagree, but I have found that these factors have led me towards more meaningful worship.
* Time. My most meaningful worship experiences often occur after focusing on God for an extended period of time. Time itself is not magical, but we all need time to slow down. We need to ruminate in God’s presence, not merely rush on to the next thing on our agenda.
* Diversity. We all have my musical preferences, but cultural variety in a worship service deepens our vision of the Kingdom of God. Diversity helps us get beyond our self and our selfish preferences.
* Balance. There needs to be balance between theology and emotions, or truth and spirit. Without any content to our worship, we merely express our feelings. Without any emotion, we merely impress ourselves. Meaningful worship occurs when we have both.
* Freedom. As much as we need order in our worship services, we also need freedom. Worship is more meaningful when we go beyond singing to raise a hand, kneel, pray, listen, etc.
* Christian. This may seem obvious, but in practice, many worship songs lack content that is unique to Christianity. As a result, many worship songs could be just as easily sung in a temple, mosque, or synagogue. A worship service needs to be noticeably Christian.