Your Creation Call To Worship
My heart is deeply troubled for the church of America and its connection in worship. Because that is what worship is: YOUR PERSONAL connection to God. God created MAN to worship Him. Musical instruments, worship songs and words are INANIMATE objects. They cannot produce worship without someone using them to do so. An instrument unplayed produces nothing. A song unsung is simply words on a paper. A compliment unspoken is simply a thought. A praise word unuttered is simply a hope unfulfilled. They blew the horns at Jericho to sound the alarm, but the battle was won by the people, not the horns. The tambourine did not celebrate the Children of Israel’s miracle walk through the Red Sea, but it was only when Miriam took it in her hand and began to use it that it became a tool of worship.
Notice I said a “tool of worship.” It did not produce the worship; It simply called to the attention of the women that it was time to dance and worship. Instruments and worship songs are simply that…tools! But in America we have turned them into crutches; No, actually they have become our prosthetics! We seem as though we cannot move, act or worship unless they are just right. To some of us they have become our wheelchairs, something we sit at but make no movement. Music and instruments and songs are simply a “call” to the people. They are simply a tool to get your attention, but they CANNOT worship for you. They are the blowing of the horn that it is time to go to battle but they cannot win the battle. They are the call that it is time to get up and connect to and activate the presence and power of God. And yet each week in churches around our country the call goes out at the first note played and the first word sung, but people simply sit and watch. Music is the call, but worship is YOUR weapon. Unless you pick it up you will never defeat anything in your life.
Worship is not a SPECTATOR sport. There is no true worship when I am simply an observer and not a participant. Jesus did not heal SPECTATORS, He healed PARTICIPATORS!! Why do we have pews full of people who are sick in body, mind and spirit? Because the church is full of people who simply come to observe and not participate. They are the crowd around the woman with the issue of blood. They seem to have no need of His virtue and no desperation to touch Him at all. We have become hospitals full of sick people with piped in music to make them feel calm. We have become stadiums full of people who pay a lot to sit, but never take the field and actually earn the reward that the players receive. And once again I say we sit on our pews with financial, spiritual, physical, mental and emotional needs but we never pick up the tool that can pull us out of the situation. Oh the church has to wake up and remember that WE, THE PEOPLE, are who were created to worship. Everything else is simply a tool to help us achieve our creation calling.
And each week in churches all around the country, we blame the “tool” for our lack of connection to God. We give excuses that the music was too loud, too contemporary, too old fashioned, that they didn’t play the song we like. Shame on us! When you build a shelf and it is crooked do you blame the tool?! NO! The tool was only as good as the person doing the measurements. It doesn’t matter what song your worship team plays, you should be able to activate yourself to connect to God. The horns that blew were not the victory at Jericho but it was in the SHOUT OF THE PEOPLE!! When the music begins to play, the call is going forth, but it IS NOT WORSHIP!! Only people were created to give God worship. Gideon and his 300 men were all needed to win the battle. If only a few had blown their horns or if only a few had broken their lamps, the Midianites would have felt they could fight and win. It took EVERYONE PARTICIPATING to have a victory. Oh, my heart is stirred to think how powerful the services in America would be this coming weekend if, when at the very first note, ALL the people would activate in worship.
Music is simply the call. It is the alarm going off in your home saying it’s time to get up and defend what is yours. It is the whistle at the start of the race that says, GO! GO! GO! It is the trumpets announcing that the King is available for audiences. It is the open sign in the window that the doctor is in the office. But if we see and hear all that and do nothing…then WE are the problem and not the music or the worship team.
To compensate for our lack of participation, churches have tried to get our attention. They have put up lights and flashing lights, because when people are in the nightclub they sure like to get up and dance so perhaps if we produce that in the church they will. Or we put up words on the screen with moving images behind them because when people watch movies or TV with that stuff they get involved. Or we add more instruments and arrange ourselves to look like a “real” band because when people go to concerts they sure connect with what is happening on the stage. Or we modulate and add orchestration because if we just felt more like a symphony or a big event people will be excited to participate. And yet all this has not created anything but actually some of it has created even more disconnect. They sit and observe all our hard work but it doesn’t move them to participation. And my heart is grieved when I see it and my heart is stirred when leave the same way they came in. And I wonder if we should have a “no music” month at our churches where there is not one instrument played and not one singer in a microphone. Instead, we do as they did in the upper room, sing a hymn to the Lord and let them realize that you don’t really need all this to worship. Because only YOU were created to worship! All you need is your voice, your hands, your feet and a sincere heart to find your personal connection to God.
I am devoting the rest of this month in my life to making sure that I am doing my CREATION CALLING! Everyone is called to worship simply by being created by God. That is your first calling. In fact the scripture says there is only one requirement for praise and that is breath! Before you are called to be a minister, pastor, teacher, evangelist, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, usher or greeter, YOU WERE CREATED TO WORSHIP!!! And if you cannot operate in your creation calling how can you operate in your gifted calling?! Is this why we are ineffective in our ministries? Oh, God, wake us up to what we were created and designed to do and if we can do that well…what else could we accomplish in our lives?
My heart yearns today to challenge the church of America to let go of our excuses and our carnality, to understand our calling and our call to action IS worship.
Sister Carla Burton is the wife of Pastor Kurtis Burton of The Turning Point in Madison, TN. She is active in leading worship at her home church as well as many special services throughout our fellowship. In addition, Carla is an MK (missionary kid) and cares deeply for other MK’s as well as PK’s (preacher’s kids).
The above article, Your Creation Call To Worship was written by Carla Burton. The article was excerpted from The Tennessee Voice May/June 2017.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.