Being a child of the 80s, I am blessed to remember the Curl, polyester choir robes, Dr. King fans, and central air conditioning being a luxury at churches. Sister Fanny Bradley singing all the verses to the hymns that carried a people from slavery, through Jim Crow laws, to a new day where the promise of equality and freedom are close at hand. No one is being arrested for preaching holiness and divine healing. Receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost will no longer cost your your job. God had come through. Big cars and fine houses were on both sides of the tracks. Faith had won a great victory.
Like the children of Israel, it was deemed appropriate to relax the standards of holiness, sanctification, and fellowship that seemed so vital before we arrived in the promised land of modern America. The time of dependance on God had passed. Christ became a bridge of troubled water instead of Lord of All. As the object of worship becomes less sacred and significant, the music and other elements of adoration follow suit. Secular humanism is often laid at the feet of atheist philosophers. I believe it only gets traction when the church begins to acknowledge a form of godliness but denies the power there of. Miracles and signs and wonders follow faith filled preaching of God's word. If God is not allowed to move freely in the places that claim to be His home something is amiss. The real threat to the body of Christ is not post-World War One cynics but a church that disallows true worship that will invite the manifest glory of God.
In the past few decades many churches have made an overt effort to mold the church into the image of human comfort instead of presenting the transforming word of God. The word of God must not be confined to the sermon. If we are singing the praises of who we are instead of who Christ is, and expecting His presence, there is a great deception. If we offer a sacrifice of praise based on the forms and trends of secular idol worship, we offer an unworthy sacrifice.
Psalm 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
God deserves more than fatigued leftovers from pop music. the word used for new can also be translated as fresh. Leftovers and retreads are not fresh. Let's pursue a new sound for God. A sacred sound. Sincerity, truth, and honor bring us close to God. God is unmoved and utterly unimpressed with trends. Worship the preferences of people and they will come near. Worship the God whose miracles and life-changing power will bring all you need and He will come near. God is all you need. Worship Him.
1Chronicles 25:1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:
1Chronicles 25:2 Of the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king.
When King David established the temple worship in Second Chronicles 25, there is an oft overlooked principle. They prophesied under the order of the King. In the context of the modern local church this is the senior pastor. It is simple and safe to make this assertion that the five fold ministry,(Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists, and Teachers) are placed in leadership for a reason. That reason is safety and order.
Prophesy is a powerful tool that should be defined, understood, and utilized in the church. Due to fear and or a lack of knowledge, prophesy has been removed from most worship services. Many pray for restoration of Davidic worship but outside of the structure that scripture defines. I am convinced the two are inseparable. If we want the manifestation recorded in 2 Chronicles 5:12-14, we must follow the biblical template.
Pastors: I strongly encourage you to be very cautious in selecting your worship staff. A pretty voice, charisma, and cool arrangements are not the central elements of worship. High notes impress people, but not God. God is moved by faith. Faith is demonstrated in obedience. Therefore, Sensitivity and obedience to the leading of the Holy Ghost will be far more advantageous than a cool hair and trendy clothes. If you cannot trust your worship leader to carry your heart and vision, replace them immediately. Worship is too important to the ministry that God will hold you accountable for to entrust to individuals you cannot trust to follow your lead.
Worshippers: It is not restricting to serve under the vision of your local church. Refuse to allow pride to pull you out of your destiny. There are individuals called to be the next superstar, but God get little to no glory from that. Force yourself to pursue God and His heart and neglect selfish ambition. After all, ministry is serving. You are needed not to make pretty sounds. Never see yourself as the warm up act for ministry. Worship is ministry. Prophesy.
Note that I didnt specify singers. Custodians, ushers, sound people, and nursery workers play a huge part in the worship experience. I am sure your pastor, as mine does often. recognizes and appreciates your sacrifice and significance. Whether prophesying through a new song or speaking words of life over a new born, you are propelling the kingdom of God forward. I thank you.
In conclusion, support your pastor and the vision of your local church. Open your gift and ministry up to the powerful leading of the Holy Ghost. See powerful manifestations of God. God gave us a blueprint, let's follow it.