That’s how I heard the end of our weekend service once described. I took it as an overwhelming vote of confidence and as the upmost compliment. Our congregation was responding.
As Seacoast Church, we believe that the Word of God is living and active (Heb. 4:12). We also believe that as hearers of the word, it calls us to action (James 1:22). Worship, as an extension of the Word through song should be the same. When the two have an opportunity to collide; what God says plus a response to it through worship, there should be some action involved. While I agree that worship should be authentically expressed, I’m not talking about how demonstrative or not one chooses to be during the musical part of our services. I’m actually talking about simply actively responding to Jesus in an authentic way. In the Church today, I see worship as an active, living response to an active, living Word from an active, living God.
At the end of each of our weekend services, we give people an opportunity to respond to what the Lord has spoken to them during the message. Our speaking Pastor will end the message by saying, “What is God saying to you and what are you going to do about it?”. That’s when the activity begins in what we call “Response Time”.
Throughout each of the rooms where the 13 campuses meet, there are what we call “Response Stations”: paper and pens where people can pin notes to a cross, candles to light for intercessory prayer, communion stations, prayer teams, and opportunities to give tithes and offerings. Each is optional, but each requires some kind of action. Some will stay in their seats while the first worship song starts, some will immediately move to a response station, but there is motion and purpose behind it all. The physical act of ‘doing something about it’ helps to cement what the Lord is saying in the heart of the hearer. We end our services with two or three worship songs as people are responding and finish with a celebratory declaration of all He’s done.
Worship in the Church today takes many forms and can be found in multiple sounds, styles and genres. All have a place and all, if appropriately expressed, can help to point us to Jesus. What I love about worship, as a lifestyle and as the musical part of our services, is that it absolutely demands that we DO something. Worship is an external response to a Holy God; the created expressing thanks to the Creator.
Demonstratively dancing and raising your hands or quietly sitting alone listening to the words of a worship song, worship in the Church today is all about actively pursuing Jesus. How you choose to express that actually isn’t as important as the extent to which you’re willing to engage. I firmly believe that what we choose to do with what God gives us today will determine the depth of what He can do with it tomorrow. I love the way our church has created space for us to be able to respond, act and engage with Him at the end of our services. It’s a beehive of activity but one that is making way for the Lord to do amazing things among us as we actively pursue Him.
Tara is Greg's girl, mom to two sons of thunder, a hunger fighter, big dreamer and worship pastor at seacoast church.