by Ruth O’Neil
I was slightly offended one Sunday morning when a friend expressed her displeasure with my response to worship. She thought I needed to respond to God the same way she did. Her insistence interrupted my personal communion with God during the worship service.
We Are Not All the Same
Because we’re not all the same, we don’t worship in the same manner. The form of worship one person chooses is not necessarily the same form of worship another might choose.
Most of us worship in a variety of ways. Every Sunday I worship by singing, praying, reading the Bible, or remaining silent. The subject of worship appears often in the Bible. We read about singing and praying in James 5:13. We read about bowing in Psalm 95:6. Psalm 47:1 includes a reference to clapping. Lifting up hands may be found in Psalm 63:4. Even dancing and the playing of musical instruments are included in Psalm 149:3.
We don’t have to limit ourselves to these acceptable forms of worship, though. Some worshipers may want to let their creativity flow in their worship. They may not like to sing, dance, raise their hands, or draw any attention to themselves. Some people are much quieter in the way they worship. The fact that you do not see someone worshiping in a demonstrative way doesn’t mean nothing is going on inside the head and the heart.
Just about anything we do or any talent we have can become a form of worship. Worship can take the form of drama, music, writing, photography, or even sign language.
Drama can often move people to tears, which points to a stirring in the soul. Many churches put on drama productions, especially during Christmas and Easter. These productions become a form of worship not only for those involved, but also for those who view them.
Writing can be another form of worship, as the author uses his words to honor God along with his readers. Writing can also be a solitary form of worship. Pam wrote her prayers to God every day in a notebook. She worshiped as she wrote. Then she would worship by reading her prayers again to see how God answered them. Praising God through prayer is another important part of our worship experience.
A woman in our church knows sign language. Although there are no deaf people in our church who need this ministry, it does not stop her from signing the songs we sing. Her signing is a form of worship. It is as if her words are not enough; she has to do something more. All one has to do is look at her face to see that she is engaged in worship as she signs.
Photography is another art form we can use to worship the Lord. With today’s digital technology you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take good photos. Many people enjoy talking walks to view creation. Take your camera with you and snap pictures of the images that catch your eye. Print or enlarge them and frame them along with Bible verses to give away as gifts. You can draw others into worship by providing images of God’s creation for them to view. Post your pictures on social networking sites for all your friends to see—even those who don’t believe in God.
Music can be one of the most moving forms of worship. When listening to worshipful music we may want to close our eyes and think about God’s presence. Musical styles and personalities vary, and there is a style of music to draw anyone into worship. It doesn’t matter if the music is fast-paced or reflective. Music is a powerful worship tool. You might consider joining a choir, playing an instrument in the orchestra, or simply making a joyful noise alone in your car with the windows rolled up. Sing or hum a tune and worship God from the depths of your heart.
How Can I Worship With My Talents?
You may be wondering how you can use the talents you have to worship God. Find out if your church has a drama team or group. Drama teams usually put together short skits and perform them as a ministry. Get involved in acting, directing, or just helping corral kids during a children’s musical. In any play or drama performance, each person works together for the good of the whole.
If your talent is writing, you have many options to worship and bring others to worship with you. Consider writing a skit for the drama group at your church to perform. You could write devotionals or inspirational poems that express your own worship and encourage those who read your material.
Perhaps you can write brief essays for your church bulletin or newsletter to encourage others. You may choose to keep your writing a private matter between you and the Lord. Keep a journal. Write your prayer requests to God. Record the blessings that come your way. Using a pen and paper, give God the glory for the things he has done in your life. This is also a good place to record prayer requests from other people and remember to pray for them. Write down requests in sentence form and pray every day. Do not forget to thank God when your prayers are answered.
Recently I heard someone ask, “What story would God write if you would only surrender the pen?” We were created to worship God. God has given us unique talents. He would not have given them to us without expecting us to use them for his glory. Think about the talents you possess. Hand them over to God and ask him to show you ways to use them as forms of worship. You may be surprised by his answer.
Ruth O’Neil is a freelance writer in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Making a Mess and Meeting God
by Mandy Smith
As you find new ways to worship God, consider trying some different experiences, alone or with a small group, by using this book. It may bring out a new side to your worship.
Discover the potential that ordinary activities have to teach us about God in a new and deeper way—not for the sake of experience alone, but for the sake of seeing and knowing God.
Stage It Right
by Lena Wood, Arian Armstrong, and Daniel Armstrong
If you have a passion to use drama in your church, consider this helpful resource.
With striking images, practical ideas, and inexpensive innovations, this book will show you how to create great sets for skits, dramas, and musicals, or to decorate for presentations of any kind.
Find out more about all these resources: www.standardpub.com