Celebration Or Worship? :: The Trend Of Celebration In Comtemporary Worship

Does your church use language such as, “Celebrate Jesus” on Sunday mornings? Is that the only language they use? The following is an excerpt from an article critiquing the modern church’s use of Celebration-only language in worship.

More and more churches seem to be moving toward this kind of language to describe what happens during corporate worship. I’m not convinced it’s a good thing. 

Now I’m not saying Jesus–and the infinitely good news associated with his death and resurrection–is unworthy of our celebration. But I do worry that “celebrate” is an inadequate word to describe the response we should have to the Lord of the universe.

Read rest of article here.

I agree with the author. While celebrating who Jesus is and what he has done for us (there are many examples of redeemed souls celebrating before the Lord in Scripture), the language of celebration implies that the worshipper is smiling, laughing, and happy all of the time. Otherwise, one does not worship. I prefer the term “worship.” We worship Jesus in the body life of our churches, not only when we are in a celebratory mood, but also when we are sad, or mourning, or tired, or sick, or a million others things when we come together in corporate worship.

Don’t just celebrate Jesus, worship him!

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2 Comments

Filed under leading worship, worship leaders

2 responses to “Celebration Or Worship? :: The Trend Of Celebration In Comtemporary Worship

  1. Mindy Crum

    I really appreciated reading this! I am a worship leader for our church and have really been struggling lately with whether or not I should continue leading worship. I am going through a very difficult time in my life (my mom has terminal cancer) and have been struggling with how to ‘present’ joy and celebration in a time of my life that seems so sad and full of so many questions. In reading this, I am reminded that we all have struggles and that people will relate to the issues of personal struggle rather than the image of a perfect life. None of us are perfect and we (even as leaders) are all going through struggles and valleys – it’s that we keep our focus on the Lord for our strength and peace!!

    • Mindy,

      Thanks for your comments. I have struggled with the very same things you have mentioned. By nature I am not the type of guy who smiles everywhere he goes, and as a worship leader I find it difficult to look like some of the other “super-happy” worship guys (and gals) out there. My demeanor is not one that says “Celebration!” I run on a pretty even keel most of the time, even when I am “super-happy.” I’m not one of those “if-your-happy-and-you-know-it-say-amen” people (I’ve always hated that song!). I think we can worship in spirit and truth when we are indeed sad about something, or just really burdened by something. When I look at Jesus I see him worshiping the Father in all sorts of situations, and I don’t get the picture that he was clapping his hands and doing the holy hop while dying for our sins. I wrote a song entitled “Hallelujah (My Broken Heart Will Sing)” for a time when a young person that was close to us died suddenly. I thought that such a happy-go-lucky, celebratory, upbeat “worship” song would have been inappropriate given the immediate circumstances. It is a slower paced, melancholy worship song that readily admits a broken heart and a crushed spirit, and cries out to God for a way to worship out of the pain. Chorus goes:

      Hallelujah blessed be your name
      Hallelujah blessed be your name
      It is you Lord who has given
      And you’ve taken away
      Hallelujah blessed be your name
      O teach my broken heart to sing

      I hope you will reconsider giving up on leading others to worship, and that you would use what is happening in your life right now to help others to worship in their own pain. There are many in the church who are hurting and looking for a way to express their agony in worship, but who just don’t know how. And the overly celebratory style of worship does not allow for real brokenness and pain in worship.

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting.

      Chris.

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