For years as a worship leader and music director, I have tried to help congregations understand that Worship is all about God.
"Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind." Luke 10:27 NIV
We do not come to worship out of a sense of duty, to be entertained, to socialize, to be educated or emotionally charged. We do not come to receive a blessing, hear a sermon, to perform, or to be creatively stimulated.
We come to worship to honor and glorify the Almighty God, to love Him with our whole heart and to seek to please Him.
Since I am no longer responsible for leading the congregation except on occasion, this book was born because I felt it was important to write down what I have learned about worship over the years... specifically in the context of Biblical study.
The Bible is full of instances of worship which can give us a stronger foundation and understanding of what it means to worship in spirit and in truth. Along with understanding comes the realization that worship is 24/7. It grows out of our personal relationship with Christ and a desire to walk with Him every day and to please Him.
This is written for average Christians who sit in the pew each Sunday. It gives practical helps on how to refocus when we become distracted and how to become a "living sacrifice, which is our reasonable act of worship."
This book can be used as an individual study, a group study or even a church-wide study. It is for churches who are experiencing difficulties such as worship wars, and for churches which already have a vibrant worship and discipled congregation.
At the end of the book is a personal testimony regarding my journey into worship.
"To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever." Rev. 5:13b NIV
Worship is in progress at this very moment at the Throne of God. Let us join the celebration both now and forever more!
"It is easy for Christians to get sidetracked in worship, to lose focus and direction. That is why it is important to explore the scriptural foundations for worship and to look at practical steps to help the worshiper focus on God." -- Ellen Walker
An Audience of One
Why write a book about Biblical Christian worship?
There are so many books already available about worship.
While there are a lot of books on worship, most of them are directed toward worship leaders, music directors and pastors. Very few are written for the average person in the pew.
I suppose that the majority of Christians feel they already understand and practice worship Although they may attend multiple services a year, I believe that many Christians are just going through religious motions or ceremonies with little true worship happening
In many cases the Sunday morning worship service has become a spectator sport with limited congregational participation. Worshipers are expecting to be entertained or "blessed". Their focus is on receiving rather than giving.
Worship is often judged on whether a person feels good when they leave the church or if those leading the experience did a good job in music performance or thought-provoking message. Neither of these are the Biblical criteria for the success of worship.
In some cases worship is dull, repetitive, mindless and stale. In other cases it has become a variety show with lots of distractions for short attention spans, offering "something for everyone."
I believe God has created us with a capacity and a yearning for worship. However, as creatures of habit, it is easy to turn worship into a mindless ritual where the worshiper is just an observer going through the motions.
Oftentimes the greatest obstacle to worship is not the leadership or the musical selections or the instrumentation. The biggest obstacle o worship is ourselves.
Whatever the reason, worship is often the last thing on our agenda and the average Christian comes ill-prepared to come to the Holy of Holies to worship the Almighty God.
This book will explore authentic Biblical worship and look at steps the average Christian can take to make their worship experience truly focused on the God whom they worship.
Worship should be dynamic, a give and take
between the worshiper and the one worshiped.
Worship is not...
Worship is not a mindless event, a spectator sport, entertainment or a classroom lecture.
Worship is not limited to a specific time or location.
Worship is not limited to a particular style of music or order of worship. One size does not fit all.
Worship is not something you can turn on and off at will, nor is it an effort to accumulate favors from God. God is not counting "Friends" or "Likes" as on Face Book or gathering opinions on Twitter.
Worship is not a one-way conversation. It is not like a text message, email, letter or book that you can read over and over and answer at your convenience or perhaps interpret the wrong way.
Worship is personal and intimate.
Worship is a one-on-one encounter with the Almighty God, creator of the universe and sustainer of all life.
Worship requires your immediate attention and response.
Worship involves your whole self, not a half-hearted effort. Anything of value requires effort, and worship is no exception.
Worship happens in the context of real life for those who truly seek to know and serve God every day.
..... It is my prayer that the thoughts and scriptures presented in this book will lead you to a closer walk with the Father and into deeper worship regardless of your education, circumstances or experience.
.... It is my hope that this book will cause you to embark on a spiritual journey that will last your lifetime and beyond, as you seek to know God, to love Him and to worship Him.
Christian worship is not a spectator sport.
The focus of worship is on the One True God.
His is the only opinion that matters.
Begin a life-long journey with eternal ramifications,
to understand and participate in worship and
to know the one whom we worship.
An Audience of One offers a Bible Study for the average Christian to discover the nature and purpose of worship. It can be used as an individual study or in a group setting.
The first half of the book offers Biblical examples of worship. It is not an exhaustive look at the Scriptures, but a "jumping-off" point to begin a life-time of study.
The second half offers practical steps to help the individual worshiper prepare for and participate in worship.