DeForest Evangelical Free Church

Worship's Guiding Principles

leavesOur generation is not the first to deal with "worship wars". Since Cain and Abel, conflicts over how to worship God have been some of the most disconcerting, contentious issues God's people have faced.

Leaders of God's family are called to "shepherd the flock" and address questions related to worship with charity, clarity, concern and conviction.

Worship, and the practices related to it, have been misunderstood and frequently guided by cultural ritual, both traditional and contemporary. Needless to say, division and confusion now mar what God intended to "bring Him glory and honor". The church would do well to submissively pursue "that which pleases the Lord".

To meet the needs created by this worship dilemma, we have chosen to turn to God's authoritative word for our direction. And we have chosen to urge willing submission to the truth that we find there.

Following is a summary of the conclusions we have drawn regarding worship:

In worship, God is an audience of One. Since, then, God is the only true recipient of worship, all preferential rights to worship belong to him. As worshippers, we seek only His approval and dedicate ourselves to discovering and doing what pleases Him. We defer our rights of preference to Him without regard for ourselves. See Ephesians 5:10, John 20:11-18, 20:24ff.

Since God has declared His will through the written testimony of His word, verified by the life of Jesus, we look to it to find His specific will and wisdom regarding all matters pertaining to faith in Him, especially matters of worship. See II Timothy 3:16-17; John 20:31; Genesis 4:1ff.

Instead of comparing alternative worship philosophies and practices, we were led to stay closely aligned with God's revealed truth found in the Bible. Concepts of "traditional vs. contemporary" or "ancient vs. modern" gave way to the guiding influence of insights gleaned from God's word.

Although worship may be either public or private, the Lord led us to limit our study to public worship because of the need He saw for growth in that area of our relationship with Him. See I Corinthians 11:1-34, I Corinthians 14:1-40; Ephesians 5:1-32; I Timothy 2:1-15

Understanding that God desires both praise and worship, related but different activities, we sought His guidance from the scriptures in order to understand how we should use music, singing, instruments, spoken and silent meditation and songs in praise and worship. See Colossians 3:12-17.