Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Calls to Worship

Christian Focus has recently published an interesting little book titled, Calls to Worship: A Pocket Resource, by Robert Vasholz. I was interested in this book because I think we fail to think enough about how Scripture can function as a true call to worship.
Bryan Chappell in the foreword makes an excellent point:

“The call to worship is not simply a perfunctory greeting of human cordiality, but is at once a weighty responsibility and a joyful privilege.” (10)

“With a scriptural call to worship God invites us by his Word to join the worship of the ages and angels. God does not simply invite us to a party of friends, or a lecture on religion, or a concert of sacred music – he invites us into the presence of the King of the Universe before whom all creation will bow and for whom all heaven now sings. With the call to worship God’s people are invited to participate in the wondrous praise that already and eternally enraptures the hosts of heaven. This awesome news and great privilege should be reflected with appropriate enthusiasm and joy by the worship leader in the call to worship. Such a call will typically lead directly into a corporate or choral hymn of praise as God’s people respond to the blessings of worship into which they are called. A well-planned call to worship often reflects the theme of the service or the nature [of] the occasion so that the remaining elements of service are a natural outflow of, and response to, the content of the call.” (11)

The book then contains brief (typically two to three lines) calls to worship using biblical language and suited to various occasions in the church. These will no doubt be helpful to many. What I had hoped for, however, particularly after the comments quoted from the foreword, was suggestions about specific direct texts which could be used for calls to worship. I prefer to use full texts (complete Psalms, or discrete portions of scripture) as calls to worship.


Anonymous said...

Maybe I am just being too picky but should we say that a call to worship is a "responsibility" in corporate worship?

scott v

Ray Van Neste said...

Fine question. I think the point is that IF you are asked to give the call to worship you have been given a weighty responsibility. It is not merely perfunctory.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! That makes sense. I am teaching a series on worship at church at this point and that was on my mind. How was Kauflin's book compared to others that you have read in this area?


Ray Van Neste said...

So far, I have only been able to dip into Kauflin, so I can't give a good answer.