Style Should Not Be The Criteria for Worship

Who says your worship service has to center every week on one style of music? Style is not the most important criteria for Christ-centered worship. The Gospel is the criteria.

This week we used a variety of styles but the service was not planned around including styles it was planned around 'the gospel.'

Our preservice music was "Christ is Risen" by Mia Fieldes and Matt Maher then...

...a worship team member led us in an opening prayer, a call to worship recognizing God's presence among us and though the seasons change, He never does then...

...we sang the song "The Highest and the Greatest" by Nick Herbert and Tim Hughes using it to recognize God as Almighty creator and helping us engage in worship just as the angels do around His throne and joining in before the mandatory 'every nation worship' that will occur at Christ triumphant return, then...

...we sang Sing, Sing, Sing by Daniel Carson, Matt Gilder, Travis Nunn, Jesse Reeves, and Chris Tomlin. Here we joined with all creation in praising God, next...

...our pastor came to give a short introduction about prayers of petition and intercession, helping us recognize that there are many needs in our congregation and God knows and invites us to bring them to Him. Then before prayer...

...we sang this song "You Are My Rescue" by Hale, T. W. | Smith, Michael H. Following the song...

...a worship team member led us in an awesome time of prayer. She had thought about what she was to pray for and you could tell she believed what she was praying. Then...

...our choir was about to sing the song "Come Ye Sinners," but before they did I needed to explain some of the words. You know we don't use the term "o there are ten-thousand charms" in our conversations today. If we don't use that phrase then we probably don't know what it means. Here is how I made the transition from prayer to choir song:

God cares for us, that is why we are invited to bring our needs and requests to Him. We are reminded throughout his word that he cares, he listens and he answers.

God cares for us more than we can imagine...He cares for our very souls. When we read the scripture Matthew 11:28-30 we think He is there to meet our request, however, the perfect rest is found in our surrender to His will, His way...that is rest.

In this next song there is a phrase that is not spoken into days language "o there are ten thousand charms" in today's language we might replace these words with 'reward beyond investment' or 'reward beyond our imagination.' When we come and lay our lives on Jesus, surrender to him as sinners, we are promised reward...an eternal relationship with Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord.

 ...Come Ye Sinners is an old tune and the arrangement we used is as traditional, in a high-church-kind-of-way as anything we sing. The accompaniment was only piano and cello and that simplicity allowed the words to stand strong. (You can find the arrangement at PraiseGathering Music. The text of the song invites the sinner to come to Christ and ends with the actions words "I will arise." As a response to that call to the Gospel we...

...prayed, a prayer of thanksgiving for the assurance of pardon. Included in that prayer was also petition to God to burden the hearts of those who don't have a relationship with Him to want to 'rise and go to Him.' It was then time for the welcome so we....

...invited the people to stand and greet one another. To keep us moving and not feel like the welcome brought a stop to the service we quickly moved on to...

...a song of testimony for God's salvation power, "When I Think About the Lord" by James Huey

That was our setlist and yes we used many styles including: traditional, black gospel and contemporary Christian. But the setlist was not about the songs it was about allowing everyone to hear the gospel and participate in the conversation of worship around the gospel.