“When Covenanters worship, we celebrate God’s story through expressions rooted in our culture. Our worship creates a sense of intimacy with both God and one another and forms us into a community of disciples of Christ.”
This week, David Bjorlin helps us think more deeply about the value: We celebrate God’s story.
One of my favorite definitions of worship also happens to be the shortest: “Worship does God’s story.” I remember reading theologian Robert Webber’s definition in seminary and thinking, “That does not seem like the worship I know!” Up until that point, I had thought worship was primarily about my story. Did I like the songs? Did the sermon speak to me? What did I get out of it?
Webber’s definition shifted my perception of worship and asked not how God could enter my story but how we could enter God’s. Through the proclamation of Scripture, the breaking of bread, and the washing with water we proclaim the story of God that stretches from creation through our final redemption.
It tells the story of the chosen nation of Israel, the story of the Holy Spirit falling on Pentecost to breathe life into the nascent church, the story that centers on the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. It is even the story of how God used a small group of Swedish dissenters to proclaim that God’s love and friendship were for all people. And I think this is good news for the worship leader.
If worship is not primarily about my story or your story, then our job is not to manufacture a worship experience or continually search for cultural relevance, but rather to tell God’s story and invite the worshipping community to enact this story until we live our whole lives as characters in that story.
As a worship leader, what are ways you can better enact God’s story?
Dave Bjorlin is the worship pastor at Resurrection Covenant Church and a grad student at Boston University School of Theology. He studies hymnody, the connection between worship and ethics, and the incorporation of children in worship. He is an adjunct lecturer on worship at North Park Theological Seminary.”