For most of my nearly thirty years in the Pentecostal church, I’ve been involved in worship music, for much of that time as a worship leader. Only in the past year or so have I laid down my guitar, piano and microphone and taken a big step back. And as I have, my perspective has begun to change.
Let me first say this: I believe in both the value and the power of corporate worship.
I believe that corporate worship is of great value because it unites us as the worshipping church, takes our focus off the individual, reminds us of God’s eternal attributes and instils a renewed sense of corporate purpose.
I believe that corporate worship is powerful because something happens when we come together as the gathered people of God that transcends the individual and the commonplace. Times of corporate worship can lift us into new realms of awareness of the beauty and majesty of God and inspire us afresh as we seek to walk out our calling from Monday to Saturday.
I’ve experienced some amazing, awe-inspiring, spine-tingling moments in corporate worship, when the presence of God seemed so thick you could feel its weight and the whole world took on a different and holier hue afterwards.
But… having said all that, I’ve been wondering. Specifically, I’ve been wondering about just how much of our worship, particularly in emotionally charged charismatic settings, is dualistic.