The Worship Quote of the Week for (04/17/2007):

Ministry to God in Worship
Is it for us or for God? Is faithful Christian worship for the benefit of God, or is it for the benefit of the worshiper? Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is from Donald Hustad's TRUE WORSHIP: RECLAIMING THE WONDER AND MAJESTY. The author reminds us of the strong biblical language of "ministering to God" in worship.

Please see below for news concerning a significant
project in honor of today's WORSHIP QUOTE author,
Donald P. Hustad, organist, worship scholar, hymnal
editor, and senior professor at The Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary.

In the maze of changing paradigms, this principle remains unchanging: We are called to a ministry to God in worship, and this must be done in spirit and truth. Most people understand MINISTRY to mean "giving service, care, or aid; to attend, as to wants and necessities; to contribute, as to comfort and happiness"--all this for the helping of other human beings. Used in the context of the church, the word refers usually to service, care, or aid to other persons, on behalf of God, in the name of Jesus Christ. However, in the Old Testament, especially in the Authorized and older versions, we find reference to a "ministry to God" in public worship: "And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office" (Exod. 28:1, KJV). That same phrase appears word for word ten times in the King James Version of the book of Exodus.

In recent Scripture versions, translators have changed the phrase "minister unto me" to "serve me." Yet, in the first recorded version of a complete communion prayer by Hippolytus (d. AD 236), the scriptural words "minister to you" appear: "Remembering therefore his death and resurrection, we offer to you the bread and the cup, giving you thanks because you have held us worthy to stand before you and MINISTER TO YOU" (emphasis added).

[Dr. Hustad goes on to record the opening section of the this third-century Communion prayer of Hippolytus. Notice the language of "ministry to God."]

"It is proper and right to sing to You, bless You, praise You, thank You and worship You in all places of Your dominion; for You are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same; You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You brought us into being out of nothing, and when we fell, You raised us up again. You did not cease doing everything until You led us to heaven and granted us Your kingdom to come. For all these things we thank You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit: for all things that we know and do not know, for blessings seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us. WE ALSO THANK YOU FOR THIS MINISTRY WHICH YOU ARE PLEASED TO ACCEPT FROM OUR HANDS [that is, the "ministry of worship" we are offering through this liturgy] even though Your are surrounded by thousands of Archangels and tens of thousands of Angels, by the Cherubim and Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring with their wings, singing the victory hymn, proclaiming, crying out, and saying:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth are
filled with Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed
is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna
to God in the highest (emphasis added).

óDonald P. Hustad, TRUE WORSHIP: RECLAIMING THE WONDER AND MAJESTY. Carol Stream: Hope Publishing Co., 1998, p. 33. ISBN 0-87788-838-8. Highly recommended.

In the last several months, our seminary has decided to completely renovate the historic 113-rank Aeolian Skinner organ in Alumni Memorial Chapel. More than thatówe are honoring our esteemed senior professor by naming the restored instrument the Donald P. Hustad Organ.
If you are interested in more information about the exciting renovation of the Donald P. Hustad Organ, please send an e-mail note to If you put "Hustad Organ" in the subject line or the body of the e-mail, you will be sent a PDF version of the information. Thank you very much. Please feel free to forward this notice to organ enthusiasts and church musicians whose lives have been blessed by Dr. Donald Hustad. Feel free to send me a personal note ( if I can answer any questions.

OTHER GREAT WORSHIP QUOTATIONS BY DONALD P. HUSTAD (Worship or Entertainment) (Pleasure in Church Music) (Much Ado about Nothing) (Worship in Truth) (Use Your Mind) (Response to the Self-Revelaltion of God) (Worship Is Relationship) (Sola Scriptura)

Have a great week.

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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