Fostering the Spirit of Worship

PULPIT AND STUDY: Fostering the Spirit of Worship

"Worship is the recognition of the "worth- ship" of God and His greatness."

Instructor in Bible and Religion, E.M.C.

Worship is the recognition of the "worth- ship" of God and His greatness. This will embrace the sensing of an individual need and one's undone condition. Having come into this condition, one should yield self to God to be filled with His presence as he meditates on the Divine and senses His nearness.

There are four steps in the complete experience of worship: (a) recognition of the atmosphere of worship and presence of God, (b) sense or revelation of the purity of God and imperfection of man, (c) realization of cleansing and forgiveness, and (d) consecration of life for service. Isaiah, when he saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and Moses, when he saw the burning bush, are two outstanding examples of this experience.

Upon entering the rostrum, the minister should not walk in an undignified manner. He should not sit with crossed legs; neither should he whisper to his fellow ministers or go to sleep while sitting on the rostrum. He should be dressed in proper pulpit dress, and sit erect with both feet on the floor. He should appear interested in what is said, and enter into the spirit of the worship by joining in the singing. To show his interest in what is said, he may utter an occasional amen at the proper place, which is gratifying to God and the congregation as well as inspirational to the speaker.

To make baptism a service of real worship, the minister should plan every step carefully, and the various details of the work should be delegated to proper responsible persons. Every-, thing should be arranged so there will be no break in the service. The candidates should be robed and the minister dressed so he can enter the water with dignity immediately after the preaching service. The candidates, elders, and deacons should all be carefully instructed, and unite in prayer before the service opens.

For the Lord's supper the table should be arranged and covered before the service and brought into the 'auditorium all prepared. If possible, the ordinance of foot washing should be conducted in a separate room. Have everything possible arranged beforehand, and con duct the service with dignity and order. The elders and deacons should thoroughly know just what is expected of them, proper hymns should be selected, and the service should be carried out 'quietly.

For the church marriage ceremony the participants should be instructed as to their part. The music should be appropriate for worship and the occasion; the Scripture should be fit ting and read in a spirit of worship. The externals should be in keeping with the solemnity of the occasion, and. the order of service should be conducted with dignity and solemnity. Then the marriage service will be worshipful to all attending as well as to the participants.

Among the contributing authors in the field of worship are the following seven very helpful writers: A. W. Blackwood in The Fine Art of Public Worship; George Walter Fiske in The Recovery of Worship; Thomas L. Harris in Christian Public Worship; William Roy McNutt in Worship in the Churches; Albert W. Palmer in Come, Let Us Worship; Gerret Verkuyl in Devotional Leadership and Adolescent Worship; and Mrs. White's various works.

Six suggestive and appropriate great worship hymns are "Nearer, My God, to Thee," "Rock of Ages," "A Mighty Fortress," "The Spacious Firmament," "Come, Thou Almighty King," and "Abide With Me." These can be considered great hymns because all can enter into the spirit of their message. They do not fit merely a local situation or time; nor do they apply only to a particular case. Saint and sinner, old and young, can join in singing them. They are expressive of worship to God and a recognition of His greatness, with trust and faith in Him.

 

 

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Instructor in Bible and Religion, E.M.C.

May 1950

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