Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Whose Opinion Matters

Musings – Whose Opinion Matters?
I’m afraid it’s an occupational hazard that people will give me their opinions about our worship services. Sometimes these comments are gracious and encouraging. Sometimes they are downright selfish and petty. The emotional bruises left by the latter are hard to ignore and sometimes take me a few days to recover from. I have come to realize recently, however, that the encouraging remarks can be dangerous as well if I view them in the wrong perspective. I am grateful for people whose deep thoughts take my thinking deeper. My quote file sometimes helps me refocus. Here are some that I pondered today:

The Scriptures allude to just about every approach to worship there is: organized, spontaneous, public, private, simple, complex, ornate or plain. Yet there is no comment anywhere about any one way being preferred over another. Rather, it is the spiritual condition of the worshiper that determines whether or not God is at work. (Harold Best)

God is not impressed with our worship until our hearts are moved and impressed by Him. (Kelly Sparks)

To pretend homage to God and intend only the advantage to myself is rather to mock God than worship Him. When we believe we ought to be satisfied rather than God glorified, we set God below ourselves and imagine that He should submit His honor to our advantage. (Stephen Charnock, 1628-1680)

What does God say about our worship? Surely, this is the toughest and most basic question to be asked, but curiously it is often the last question we ask. If we think about our worship at all, usually we think in terms of, What do I want from our worship? or, What do MY PEOPLE want from our worship? without daring to be so bold as to ask, What does GOD want from our worship? (William Willimon, Biography and Bibliography)

Bobby Sanderson’s list of questions I cited a couple of weeks ago included “Can God use what I don’t like?” Sure He can. Case in point: The Holy City has never been on my list of personal favorites. I sang it last Sunday morning because the focal text for the sermon was from Revelation 21, and I knew that it would touch some of our members deeply. Rick Warren reminded us at the beginning of his book, “It’s not about you.” It is about God. Do people’s opinions matter? Sure they do … but God has the final word.

That’s enough to think about for now …


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