Dr. Tim’s Worship Tip of the Month – September 2018

Worship Tip of the Month | Monday, September 3rd, 2018

Words Matter

  • Above all else, John Wesley counseled, “Sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continuously.” Bob Kauflin

Living Words

  • John 6:63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. NRSV
  • Proverbs 18:21  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat the fruit of it. (MSG)  Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit–you choose.
  • Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 31:19
  • The words we sing in worship matter! The song of faith and testimony is of primary purpose in our worship services. It is not a throw-away or warm-up song. The words bring us back to Him, to purpose, to revelation, to freedom. Choose songs with Him in mind. Grapple with the full counsel of God in our songs. Contend for His voice to be heard in everything. Listen and study to know the theology behind songs. Write and lead songs reflecting your theology and understanding and revelation of Christ. In worship then, we create space for His voice, His song, His word to speak, to touch, to change, to transform. 

Words in Our Songs

  • The words in our songs matter! Choose wisely – they affect and change the atmosphere of the whole service
  • The Spirit is speaking:
    • Epheshians 5:19 NLT Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves,
    • making music to the Lord in your hearts.
  • The Word is speaking:
    • Colossians 3:16 KJV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
  • Faith is speaking:
    • Romans 10:8 NKJV But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim.
  • God entrusts these words/songs to us!
    • Jeremiah 1:9 NKJV Behold, I have put [Nathan] my words in your mouth
    • Psalm 40:3 He has put [Nathan] a new song in our mouth, even praise to our God. Many will see it and fear and they will trust in the Lord.
      • Nathan: give, bestow, grant, permit, ascribe, devote, consecrate, dedicate, commit, entrust, appoint, assign, designate
    • Psalm 45:1 My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer
  • ‘What might the Holy Spirit “say” to us? We might feel led to emphasize a certain line from a song or repeat a verse that draws attention to a relevant theme. The Spirit might bring to mind a particular need or a reason to celebrate. He might direct us to a Scripture we hadn’t previously thought of including. There doesn’t have to be anything mystical or “spooky” about the Holy Spirit leading us in times of corporate praise.’ Bob Kaufflin

Consider some Creative Treatment of Words

  • Listen for unique words that stand out to you
    • Sing that word over a few times, maybe in new context or add new words around it
  • Change the words or word of a song – make significant/personal
  • Old words/new tune
  • Hum while someone speaks the words- whispering
  • Exclamation words
  • Action words – do what they say
  • Different language – Alegria
  • Sing a new song from a word in an old song
  • Shouting – Ps.35:27
  • Declare His attributes

‘One way is to recount what Wayne Grudem calls God’s “summary attributes.” Those include God’s perfection, blessedness, beauty, and glory. We can also speak to each other about more specific aspects of God’s nature: He is eternal, good, just, merciful, righteous, holy, sovereign, all-powerful, omniscient, and all-wise. He is our Shepherd, our Father, our Deliver, our Shield, and our Savior. Obviously the list goes on forever. But a worship leader needs to remind his congregation of specific reasons God is worthy of worship.’ Bob Kaufflin

May we enlarge, exercise and energize our worship vocabulary every time we gather together and never take for granted to great opportunity that God affords to declare with strength, beauty and understanding the riches of His presence among us!

Dr. Tim Smith

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.