This is the hallmark worship value in the Vineyard. This value demands that our worship be self-disclosing and vulnerable to God. When John and Carol Wimber and others began meeting in a home in 1977 in California, they gathered because they were hungry to meet with God. And so, for years Vineyard worship around the world has been marked by songs that are simple expressions of love and devotion. The Bible is full of accounts of intimate worship. As David looked after the sheep he sang intimate songs to the Lord. He continued when he became king of Israel. The woman in Luke 7 worshipped intimately as she poured perfume on the feet of Jesus.
This value is not about style or the volume of our music. I’m a believer in “quiet intimacy” as well as “loud intimacy”.
Worship leadership assumes that someone is following. The expression of this value involves restraint on the behalf of the worship leader and team in order to provide access to those who are attempting to worship with us. It is a pastoral approach that is concerned more about the needs of the gathered congregation than with our own personal desire to express ourselves creatively.
…the discipline to not play or sing all the time – if you fill all the spaces with ‘your stuff’ the music cannot breath and the congregation may feel overwhelmed.
…the realization that the notes you don’t play are just as important as the ones you do.
…not adding embellishments to a song that make it so others cannot follow or sing.
…not necessarily easy and it doesn’t always feel good to you as a worship facilitator, but it is right
John 4:24 states that the Father is looking for worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and truth. This value states that our lives and our expressions of worship ought to be in line with one another. Our corporate worship expression is the overflow of our individual lives lived out minute by minute in the presence of the Lord. This value asks us to bridge the chasm between the words of our worship and the actions of our daily lives.
In all of the 11 different words in scripture that are translated as “worship” (4 in the Old Testament and 7 in the New Testament), there is an inherent sense of the inferiority of the worshipper to the object of worship; there is a sense of humility. Worship is impossible without humility because it is impossible to worship without recognizing that He is God and we are not. (Heb 12:28, Psalm 95:6)
This is an extension of the authenticity value. Integrity simply means wholeness, naturalness, the condition of being undivided, a consistency between private and public life. Amos 5:21 and 23 read, "I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies.” “Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” We need to face the truth that if we don’t have integrity God hates our worship! God doesn’t want us to come to Him as we think we should be, but as we are. If who we are is not pleasing to Him and not in line with His Word, then we need to cry out for His mercy to change us.
If you were to go to a foreign country as a missionary, you would want to learn the language, understand the culture, learn the taboos and the things that they value. Our worship teams are no different. I like to say that we are “musicianaries”. As such, what do we know about our own culture? We know this when it comes to music: our culture loves excellence. We spend billions of dollars on movies and music every year. It takes tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce most of the CDs that we hear. So, if we want to speak the musical language of our culture, we need to speak excellence.
Excellence is also something that is mandated by scripture. In the Old Testament, when an offering was made to God, it was to be “without defect” (Ex 12:5 and Le 1:3). Psalm 33:3 reads “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 reads “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” The book of Exodus is full of examples of the most skillful artisans being used in service to the Lord. Philippians 4:8 reads “…
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Our goal is connection, not perfection. We want to offer our best, but that’s impossible without connecting with Him, as made clear by John 15:5: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
You may ask “what am I committing to as a part of the Worship Arts Team?”
Here is what we ask of you:
- Alignment with the values listed above.
- Spend time in personal preparation as defined above.
- Be part of the worship community at SHV by attending the bi-monthly Worship Forum.
- Willingness to be part of a team, and to submit to the team’s “coach”, the Worship Pastor.
The number of times you participate a month is very flexible, so even if you are very busy, we can probably create a rotation that works for you.
If you desire to lead, we have other items to consider. Contact us if you are interested in leadership.