As I write this article, we are in the Eastertide season, the 50 days between Resurrection Sunday and Pentecost. One of the traditional stories that would be preached during this season is the “Great Commandment” that Jesus gave for his followers to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).
A disciple is a believer who is growing in his faith and his love for Jesus on an on-going basis. She is a learner who is in a lifelong process of maturing and being transformed by the Lord.
For those of us who serve and lead in the worship music ministry, the process of being a disciple and of “making disciples” is very important. However we often struggle to practically and effectively “disciple” – that is to “train, teach and equip” our worship ministry volunteers in the biblical foundations of worship. We’re all pressed for time and every minute of music rehearsal is valuable.
Nonetheless, understanding God’s word as it relates to worship and our role in leading it is mandatory if our volunteers are going to be equipped to do God’s work, God’s way. This can be done by being intentional to study some key Scriptures together.
Jesus commends this in John 8:31
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.” John 8:31
So where do we begin?
I suggest these ten scriptures as a good place to start. Of course, there are hundreds of others. The study of “worship” is inexhaustible! But use these as topics of conversation with your volunteers.
Use an inductive method, that is to:
1. First read the whole text and understand it’s context. What does it say?
2. Then note any take-aways, observations and lessons; What does it mean?
3. Then explore possible response and application. What difference could or should this make on our lives and ministry?
12 Essential Scripture Passages About Worship
1. John 4:23-24 Worship in spirit and truth. “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
2. Mark 12:30-31 The first and greatest commandment. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
3. Romans 12:1-2 Worship as a way of living. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
4. Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Verse 17 “ The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
5. Deuteronomy 5:4-15 The first five Commandments are all about worship and how to relate to God. Starting with verse 7 which is 1st Commandment, “You shall have no other Gods before me.” (Verse 7)
6. Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs in your hearts to God.”
7. Revelation 5:9 “ And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll …. and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” Also, read and study Revelation chapters 4 and 5.
8. 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!”
9. Psalm 24:3-4 “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to an idol and has not sworn deceitfully.”
10. Isaiah 6 (The whole chapter) “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
11. Psalm 100 (The whole chapter) “Shout for joy! Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts praise.”
12. Hebrews 4:14-16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Now I encourage you, don’t just read these Scriptures, but study and discuss them. This is not a laundry list. Go deep into these passages. Let them guide and direct your worship practices today. Let them shape your mindset, mentality and attitudes.
Certainly there are many more scriptures that should shape and form our understanding of worship, who God is, and who we are in Christ. But let these be a foundation as you lead your volunteers to grow in their love and knowledge of the One who is most worthy of all of our praise!