The Worship Quote of the Week for (10/14/2008):

Passion for God
What does it mean to be passionate in our worship of God? What does a congregation's passionate musical worship look like and sound like? Is it louder? Faster? Does it use more instruments? Fewer? Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from Harold Best’s book MUSIC THROUGH THE EYES OF FAITH. The author cautions us against finding our passion in an artistic expression.

Being moved by music is secondary to worshiping God. The Spirit is always to be free to direct our worship, whether the music moves us or not. It is only when being moved by music is coupled to a PRECEDING passion for God that we are truly moved. Behind all of this is the Lord’s continuous invitation to come and to continue worship. God wills that all of us worship him. Behind all of these secondary movings--music, art, drama, dance, architecture, atmosphere, and environment--is the primary mover, whose most quiet call and gentlest reminder speak louder than our most elaborate art pieces.

--Harold Best, in MUSIC THROUGH THE EYES OF FAITH, Chapter 7, “The Nature of Worship, Faith, Grace, and Music Making,” Harper Collins, 1993, p. 152. ISBN-13: 9780060608620

[There it is again--our worship must be a response to the character, love, and work of the primary mover. Note that the author is not speaking against emotion in music, nor is he speaking disparagingly against the use of the various fine arts in the worship life of the church; he is merely warning us not to confuse an emotional response to art with a passion for God.]

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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