Using Scripture in Worship
I commonly hear it said, “We are people of the Book,” yet it seems we rarely read God’s Word in our worship services except as part of the sermon. Mike Harland, director of LifeWay Worship recently wrote a powerful piece speaking to this issue. Take a look:
What place does scripture have in your worship services? Is the pastor the only person who reads from the Bible? And does that only happen when he is about to preach?
It’s a great thing to think about.
An oft-quoted proverb is found in Proverbs 29:18:
“Without revelation people run wild, but one who listens to instruction will be happy.” (HCSB)
In other words, if we don’t have a clear revelation of wisdom, we are capable of doing anything. That is also true in worship.
A short and simple definition of worship is, “Worship is our response to God’s revelation.” We don’t worship God to compel Him to respond to us – we worship in response to His character at His invitation. Our worship is a response.
But, if God’s Word is not central to our gathering, then to what (or who) are we responding? Our feelings? Our culture? It can be dangerous ground.
That truth is what prompted me years ago to strongly consider how the congregation interacted with God’s Word during the corporate worship times each week. If our worship is a response, then our worship times should be filled with the ultimate verbal revelation of God – His holy Word. The Bible is that because it is the written revelation of God Himself, Jesus, the Living Word.
Consider this… scripture can be used:
- during the intro of a song and read by the congregation or an individual,
- on the screens as a song is played,
- imbedded between verses of a hymn or song,
- in a responsive reading with the congregation
There is nothing more powerful than God’s Word being read (or sung) by God’s people. We would all do well to saturate the worship gathering of God’s people with the reading of His Word.
As worship leaders, we are no less responsible for the handling of God’s Word than our pastors are. It must be the central theme of our ministries.
To paraphrase the disciple, “Where else could we go? The Bible contains the words of life.”
This piece was originally published at LifeWayWorship’s blog, WorshipLife.com.