Humans operate on a fundamental system of belief (usually an unconscious process) to manage living and survival. This informs priorities, which generate particular behaviors. One’s system of fundamental belief helps determine the net outcome of their lives—good, bad or indifferent. As a Christian, one makes a conscious choice to give God glory, recognizing the Bible as the roadmap for life (theology), leading to Christ-centered priorities (philosophy), Spirit-led actions (methodology), which create God-honoring outcomes—the sum is a life of worship. 

Desiring to be an effective minister, I have established a theology, philosophy, and methodology for worship ministry. This theology of worship is based on Scripture—it will never change; a philosophy of worship bridges belief and behavior through conviction—it rarely, if ever changes; and one’s methodology of worship is the practical application of purposeful action—it is subject to change often. Submitting to the scrutiny of predetermined standards helps to pilot each area of the worship ministry. This process of examination helps to define the associations between the following individual components: worship and scripture; worship and preaching; worship and singing; worship and giving; worship and praying; worship and brokenness; worship and holiness; worship and revival; and worship and doxology.

The goal of the next several posts (excerpts from a doctoral paper for Dr. Donald Ellsworth, Liberty University) is to interconnect scriptural fundamentals from the above components that affect the way I operate in the worship ministry. 

Worship and Scripture

If a believer desires to be a ‘true worshiper,’ then the legitimacy of their worship is based on what is directed through God’s Word. Therefore, the study and proper understanding of Scripture (theology) must take the highest position of authority in worship.[1]  Allen Ross said, “The greater our appreciation and apprehension of the majestic God whom we say we worship, the greater will be our reverence, adoration, and service.”[2]

True worship is based on Scripture. God’s Word testifies that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah (Matt. 16:16) and Savior of the world (1 John 4:14), the resurrection and the life (John 8:23; 10:30)—and access to the Father comes only through Him (John 14:6)—then New Covenant worship must be in, through and to Christ (Phil. 2:9-11).[3]

Scripture also reveals Trinitarian worship: adoration emerging through the Spirit, partaking in the Son’s communion with the Father.[4] The Bible says: “I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16); “What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).

Scripture calls for gospel-oriented worship (Rom.1:16). “Life is liturgical, just like worship,” says Robbie Fox Castleman, so, “it is no wonder that liturgies, the patterns of corporate worship, contribute more to the shape of one’s faith than worshipers might ever realize.”[5] Ken Boer suggests, “Part of our job as worship leaders is to help people make connections between the gospel and their lives.”[6] 

Gospel-oriented worship supports the practice of revelation and response—dialog between God (Word) and the worshiper (praise, awe, reverence, living sacrificially, obedience, etc).[7] Jesus said, “I will proclaim your Name to my brethren. And in the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise” (Heb. 2:12). Therefore, as J. I. Packer once said, “[Believers must] turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.”[8] Bob Kauflin wrote of the importance of Scripture in worship: “Magnifying God’s greatness begins with the proclamation of objective, biblical truths about God, but it ends with the expression of deep and holy affection toward God.”[9]

Next time we’ll be discussing worship and preaching. Thanks for reading!!


[1] Daniel I. Block, For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2014), Kindle Edition locations 3673-3676.
[2] Allen Ross, Recalling the Hope of Glory: Biblical Worship from the Garden to the New Creation (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic and Professional, 2006), Kindle Edition location 284.
[3] Ibid., locations 4000-4002.
[4] James B. Torrance, Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace (Downers Grove. IL: IVP, 1996), 15.
[5] Robbie F. Castleman, Story-Shaped Worship: Following Patterns from the Bible and History (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2013), Kindle Edition locations 843-844.
[6] Matt Boswell, Doxology and Theology: How the Gospel Forms the Worship Leader (Nashville: B&H, 2013), 214.
[7] Ron Man, “The Importance of Worship for Theology,” Volume 11, No. 9 (September 2016), Worship Notes, (accessed April 12, 2017).
[8] J. I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2011), 23.
[9] Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008), 65. 

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