of the issues confronting the church today is what
constitutes worship, and how to differentiate between
worship and entertainment.
This is an issue, as pastor, I
struggle with as I consider worship alternatives. I am
very much a fan of traditional and contemporary worship
in all its many forms. And I believe as a leader in the
church I have the responsibility to explore different
worship alternatives, realizing we all don't experience
God in the same way.
But where and how do we draw the
line between worship and entertainment? This is a
question, which challenges many congregations and it's
not an easy question to answer.
I do believe the issue of
"worship versus entertainment" goes far beyond
the more popular debate between traditional music and
contemporary music. Type of music does not define
whether a church service is worship or entertainment,
although often times this is where the line is drawn.
Worship transcends music. Therefore our task is to move
beyond music to the more fundamental issue of
What is worship? Worship is a
time of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, and petition
directed toward God through our actions and attitudes.
Christian worship is Trinitarian in form as praise is
offered to God through Jesus Christ by the power of the
To determine what is worship and
what is entertainment I use four questions to guide my
discernment process. I believe if these four questions
are answered yes, we as a faith community are
worshipping God regardless of the music and the other
facets of our various worship services. They are:
- Is the Word of God
- Is there evidence of
transformation taking place within those present?
- Are gifts of the Spirit
- Are those present
experiencing the presence of God?
Worship is a verb meaning it's
something we as Christians are called to engage in on a
regular basis. We are to worship our God, the creator of
all things, giving thanks with a grateful heart for all
that he has done and will do in our lives.
If you aren't currently active
in a faith community I encourage you to visit any of the
churches in the Emmitsburg area to find a place where
you can worship God. Trinity United Methodist Church
conducts Sunday worship services at 9:00 a.m.
immediately followed by Sunday School at 10:15. Come
join us, as our congregation strives to grow in faith to
grow God's kingdom.
other homilies by Pastor Wade