One of the things I miss the most about church before COVID is corporate worship. Even while wearing masks, our students are able to worship together at school, but being unable to participate in shared worship at church has saddened my soul. I am looking forward to attending church "normally" again. I say "normally" because while many churches have already opened, mine is still online. I am in awe of my pastoral staff’s thoughtful and intentional work of keeping our church connected during this time of virtual church. Our church is having homegroup watch parties. These gatherings have been a healing balm to my heart. Worshipping with even a small group of believers each week has been a blessing and reminder of how much I need the fellowship of the saints.
While worship can be anything we do to glorify our Lord and Savior, worship through song is unique because it was commanded to us. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
There are three key things this verse points out:
- The Word of God dwells in us richly as we worship through music. Many songs are based on Scripture, especially the Psalms. Two of my favorite albums to listen to and worship with are Shane & Shane’s “Psalms Vol. 1” and “Psalms Vol. 2”. These songs will pour God’s Word directly into your heart and out of your lips!
- In worship, we are teaching and admonishing one another. We are building one another up. How sweet it is to worship together with brothers and sisters in Christ and be encouraged by heartfelt expression of love for our Savior. I am frequently brought to tears in worship when I see others singing with abandon, raising their hands, moving with the music, and laying hands on a friend.
- Worship is an expression of thankfulness to the Lord. When we joyfully sing despite trials and tribulations, it is a sacrifice of praise and a beautiful demonstration of gratitude to God.
As we go back to church, either with or without restrictions, it is important to prepare for worship. It is not merely the worship pastor’s job to “provide” a worship time. As believers and church members, we have a responsibility to show up with a heart ready for worship.
So what does it mean to show up with a heart ready for worship?
Well, worship is like a muscle that needs regular exercise. If we are not engaging in personal worship outside of church services, worship muscles could grow weak. We cannot neglect our worship in song simply because we are not in person, being led by our church worship team. We can engage in worship at home with our families, and it is easier than ever with today’s technology! Here are some ideas to incorporate worship into your home and daily life:
- When used with Apple TV, Apple Music has a feature that will display the words of the song on your screen while you sing along. We used this with homegroup watch parties. The kids sat on the carpet and sang along with the adults as we fully engaged in a time of communal worship.
- YouTube has just about any worship song you want with the words as well. You can even find instrumental versions of the songs. This is an excellent option if you don’t play an instrument, but love singing.
- Spotify is another popular platform for free music. You can create playlists and curate a list of songs for listening in the car, home, or at work.
- If you play an instrument, leave the technology behind and play and sing worship songs yourself. CCA has such talented students on our worship teams, both in Logic and Rhetoric. Some of my favorite worship times with them last year were in practice when they played spontaneously and sang together, unplanned and unrehearsed.
In conclusion, I know most of us are ready to be back in church, fully enjoying the live worship with our church families. I know I am! But while we wait, we must continue to lift our voices to the Lord in song.
Worship with your family.
Worship with your friends.
Sing and make a joyful noise to the Lord! You will be strengthened and encouraged. Corporate worship will be all the sweeter because you have not grown faint in your personal worship throughout the week.
“Hallelujah! How good it is to sing to our God.” Psalm 147:1