Proper Worship Takes Work, Thought, Preparation, and Action

“Thought is missing more and more in worship today. Apparently we are more concerned about our emotional connection and what we are ‘getting’ out of the worship experience than in being cognitively engaged or spiritually awakened. This mindset is one of the primary reasons that hymns have fallen out of popularity and use in many churches. It is because they require thought; and as a people, we do not want to think. Not many years ago I read a short article by a seminary professor in a prominent Christian periodical. He wrote something along the lines of, ‘Let’s stop being enslaved to the present rationalistic, intellect-centered approach to church that characterizes much of evangelicalism.’ Well, he got his wish. Today most evangelicals come to church to be refreshed, not to work or to think. 

“Yet proper worship does take work. It also takes thought, preparation, and action. If we understood that our singing is not for ourselves or directed principally to each other, but to and for God, that understanding would make a difference in how we engage in it. If we were more conscious of the fact that when we sing we are praising God and praying to him, that we are in the presence of the King of Glory, we would realize how important it is to know what we are singing.”

-Paul S. Jones in Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church Music Today (P&R, 2006), p. 43

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