Song | Singing the Language of the Kingdom
Scripture calls us to offer our praise to the Lord with raised voices. The vast majority of the Psalms were songs sung by the people of God. As such, worship through song is a prominent piece of our Liturgy. It is through songs corporately sung that our voices rise above our own issues and needs and join in the chorus of praise sung to God throughout the world from the beginning of time.
- Between beliefs and character come spiritual disciplines or Christian practices.
- Liturgy is about practicing and rehearsing what it means to be the people of God, who desire the kingdom of God.
- The second most commanded Christian practice in the Bible is singing.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
- “If you want to comfort the sad, if you want to terrify the happy, if you want to encourage the despairing, if you want to humble the proud, if you want to pacify the aggressive, there’s no more effective means than music.”- Martin Luther
- “Words and music did for me what solid, even rigorous, religious argument could never do: they introduced me to God. Not belief in God, more an experiential sense of God.” - Bono
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.
True worship energizes and engages your whole person - mind, will, and emotions. Worship is about getting our entire life in tune with God. At Gateway our goal is to worship in a way that represents our community to God and God to our community. Therefore our worship should be both Ancient and New; Humble and Charismatic; Joyful and Reverent; and fully Interactive.
I. Ancient and New
Our worship is rooted in two thousand years of the church and the historic flow of worship. We draw from Scripture as the primary source of wisdom and revelation as to our theology and practice. Additionally, where historic voices have followed the pattern of Scripture, we lean on the rich Christian tradition.
But we believe the Spirit is still active and present. He is here among us - Renewing All Things! Therefore He is always doing New Things! Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever - but His mercies are new every morning!
Therefore our goal is to take the best of the historic church tradition and breathe new life into it for 21st century.
Some of our songs and hymns are ancient while many others are recently written. We will use set prayers from the Psalms and the Book of Common Prayer alongside extemporaneous prayers - responding to what the Holy Spirit is doing among us in the moment.
We believe that we can draw new inspiration from ancient liturgy.
We can pray in tongues AND pray with the saints
We can pray for healing AND pray the Divine Hours.
We can do spiritual battle through intercessory prayer AND we can renew our souls through contemplative prayer and meditation.
We can take what many consider ‘dead religion’ and through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit experience a resurrection!
II. Humble and Charismatic
We long for more of God's renewing empowerment through spiritual gifts and holistic healing. But we seek this in ways that are both edifying to the body of Christ and contextually sensitive toward the city.
III. Joyful and Reverent
Churches tend to be one or the other - pep rally or funeral. But we are called to both joy and reverence.
As we approach an almighty God in all His holiness we are solemn, not flippant. Worship should be majestic and awe-inspiring and there should be times of holy silence, confession, and contemplation.
But God is also the source of joy, laughter, and happiness. We need songs and prayers filled with energy and life. Our music (just like the Psalms) should be blatantly honest about both the joy of faith and the ongoing pain of our remaining weakness.
The church is the ekklesia - a gathering of believers - and liturgy is the work of the people. Therefore worship should be interactive. Our Sunday gatherings are neither a lecture nor a concert. Those up front are neither the experts nor performers. The congregation is not a group of spectators or critics. When we gather we are the Priesthood of Believers.
Our liturgy is a dialogue between all of us and God. God speaks to us throughout the service through the call to worship, the Scripture reading, the sermon, and the benediction and each time we respond with prayer, song or action.