This post is the third post in a series on the core values of worship ministry. These core values were selected by David Loftis, worship pastor at Pleasant Garden Baptist Church, NC. These posts are taken from a series of devotions he asked me to write to accompany a training series he did on these core values. Click here to read the entire series.
Much of our worship is a response not only to who God is but what He has done for us. And a huge part of what He has done for us consists of the breaking of the chains of sin and its power over our lives and the freedom we gain in the new life with Christ. So our worship ministry must be about the celebration of that freedom. A vibrant worship ministry rejoices in the release that is ours from sin’s bondage & addiction and depends on God to set us free from all former bonds.
In his great book, “The Saving Life of Christ,” Major Ian Thomas discusses the freedom we have in Christ by discussing the laws of gravity and aerodynamics. The law of gravity binds us to the earth, but the higher law of aerodynamics will set us free from this other law if we are willing to commit ourselves in total trust to it. By faith, we step into the plane and sit back. As long as we maintain that position of total dependence, we are being set free by the operation of that higher law. However, as soon as we decide to leave that position of faith in the new law and step out of the cabin, (perhaps trying to accomplish freedom in our own power by flapping our arms!) we quickly are caught again by gravity.
The exodus of the Israelites is also a picture of this freedom. Christians are set free from bondage much like the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea, but instead of enjoying the entry into the Promised Land, we remain stuck in the wilderness – working very hard but not getting anywhere. Grumbling, complaining, and wandering, we are not yet free from our old selves. Just as we put our faith in Christ for our salvation, we must make ourselves available to trust that He will live His life through us! Col. 2:6-7 says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” As we received Him (in faith and dependence), we must also walk with Him (in faith and dependence.)
This is the power source of the Christian life! Many of the songs we sing celebrate this death to sin and bondage and new life of freedom and power. As a worship ministry, it is our task not only to shine the light to draw others into that freedom, but to exhort and encourage those ministering with us to realize that they are new creations and dead to sin. This also means that we understand that new or struggling believers who have not yet fully realized their freedom in Christ must not be excommunicated but loved where they are. Our worship ministry is not only for perfect people (thank God!) but for those in the process of being transformed.
Here’s a song that our worship ministry does from time to time to drive this point home: “Break Every Chain” by Jesus Culture.