The Worship Quote of the Week for (09/01/1998):

Spiritual Self-Gratification
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE comes from the pen of Graham Kendrick, an experienced
worship leader in England, and one of the world's leading contemporary writers
of hymns and spiritual songs ("Shine, Jesus, Shine," "Amazing Love," "Meekness
and Majesty," and "The Servant King" are among my favorites).

It is far too easy, within the current upsurge of creative input in the realm
of worship, to find ourselves chasing spiritual or aesthetic experiences, as
if the highest achievement of our whole pilgrimage on earth were to enter some
kind of praise-induced ecstasy! I am, in fact, all in favour of spiritual
experiences when they are genuine, and welcome ecstasies that are the gifts of
God and not artificially induced, but if such things become the AIM of our
gatherings for worship, then we have turned the gospel upside down. The gospel
is for the salvation of the world, and we are sometimes in danger of locking
ourselves inside the rescue-shop and plundering the stock of blessings for the
sole purpose of spiritual self-gratification, while millions stream empty-
handed past the closed doors into eternal darkness, hearing the joyful sounds
and seeing the advertisements, but never being given a chance to test the

-- Graham Kendrick, from WORSHIP, Kingsway Publications, 1984, p.32.

[Lord, help us to see YOU (not an experience) as the aim of our worship. Help
us to know your ways, to hear your voice, and to respond to you in spirit and
in truth. Amen!]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Pastor of Worship and Music
Chapel Hill Bible Church
Chapel Hill, North Carolina