A blog where women are inspired and encouraged to grow in their relationship with Christ.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Extreme Worship




I was recently reading about a fairly new trend in churches advertising “Extreme Worship”.  The article was describing the Extreme Worship services as venues that boasted several mega-screens, synchronized computer-driven light shows, full volume hard-hitting music, and my favorite... mood enhancing fog machines.  Personally, I’m fine with these technologically savvy services.  I know several fine churches that excel in the techno-service and provide a forum where hearts connect with God. 

Yes, worship can be infused and enhanced with a beautiful song, a fabulous synchronized light show, and {she says with a chuckle and some trepidation} even some machine-produced mist... I mean really, God can use whatever He chooses to draw us into to communion with Him.  I’m beyond thankful for the Sunday worship service, but it's important to remember that worship is sooo much more.

We must remember that worship doesn’t depend upon the venue; it’s a matter of the heart.  Worship doesn’t depend upon mega-screens, stained glass windows, candles, 
altar pieces, soundboards, fog machines, music preferences or ‘order’ of program.    

Extreme Worship is a matter of our hearts beating in intimate communion with our Lord.

Extreme Worship is surrendering our hearts, minds, and will in obedience to God.   

Extreme Worship is living out the love of Jesus in extravagant ways in the lives of our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, the cashier at Wal-Mart, the homeless man on the street corner. 
 
Extreme Worship is forgiving the spouse that betrayed your trust, being patient with the child that’s throwing the temper tantrum, showing grace to the sister that has spoken lies about you.  

Extreme Worship is allowing ourselves to be changed into the holy character of God.

 Living in His grace, 
Mary                           
Are you presenting yourself as a living sacrifice to God?
What does your worship look like?
Please leave a comment!
  
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48 comments:

  1. Hi Mary! Loved His Words you put down here. Curt and I are so blessed that God has put us in such a Bible based/His blood family, where His "church" comes together in a building numerous times throughout the week. There was a time when I didn't sing, because my voice is so bad, it ruined the songs when I could hear myself. When the boys were very little (2/3), they would cover their ears and say, "no, mommy, no", whenever I would break out in song. Because of how He is growing me in His Word - I no longer have a choice. My heart is so on fire for Him - the words just tumble out. The songs are no longer songs, they are prayers that I am sending up to Him. They have become my worship. I figured, He gave me this voice and after all - "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" = fearful voice in a wonderful temple! God so blesses! deby

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    1. Deby, this just made me smile and warmed my heart. I absolutely love that your heart is so on fire for our Lord! I know that your soul-deep words being sung to our Abba are as beautiful to Him as any virtuoso's perfect pitch. Yes, you ARE fearfully and wonderfully made!
      Thank you so much for coming by! I'm always blessed by your visits!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  2. I completely love your posts. I just admire you and thank God for you!

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    1. Ashley, thank you so much! You bless me more than I can say. I always look forward to your visits and your encouraging words!
      God bless you and much love sweet sister ~ Mary

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  3. Great point, my friend! That worship is not just about jumping up and down at a well-known Christian's band concert. Worship is an act of obedience, a life of surrender. Worship is a giving over...all we have to Him! Oh that we might worship.

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    1. Oh Jen, that we would have a heart to surrender every bit of self in obedience to the One worthy of extreme worship! He is worthy!
      Blessings to you sweet friend ~ Mary

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  4. Mary, as a member of our worship team at church and 'on the front lines' of bringing our people into God's presence I would concur--God must be our focus--his presence and his power. AND 'worship' happens in our lives in and out of every day. Great post!

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    1. Jody, thank you for serving our Lord on the worship team! It's such a beautiful way to touch lives and magnify His presence!
      Thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  5. Oh, Yes, true worship. I was just talking with my father about this yesterday. That my life would be true worship, not something I do in a church service. Coming by from SDG.

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    1. Yes, Nacole! True worship is life surrendered... every piece of us surrendered to the will of our Father! I love that you were talking with your dad about this... so cool!
      Thanks for visiting!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  6. Dear Mary
    I remember the days when I used to be part of these kind if worship services, but my heart was not close to our Pappa. It made me felt sooooo good and I needed that emotional boost every week. My problem was that I looked to that service for provinding what only our Pappa can and should! Now through His grace, I have learned to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!!
    Much love to you, sweet friend, I hope your Fibro is okay at the moment!
    Mia

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    1. Oh Mia, a heart that is surrendered to our Abba is beautiful worship! Only through His grace can we learn to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth! I appreciate your visits so much. Thanks for asking about the Fibro. It's loud today, but I'm trusting our Abba to set my eyes on Him and not on the pain. I hope you're feeling well!

      Blessings and much love, dear friend ~ Mary

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  7. WOOPS! I accidentally deleted this comment from Ren. {I'm sorry Ren!}

    Ren says:
    Our church worships in an 'extreme' way.. Lights, screens, fog machine (which is more of a hassle than anything else).. Aside from the strobe light that hit me in the face giving me a seizure (lol) I really love worship..
    But you are absolutely right.. I have heard people complain before that they just weren't 'into' the worship because the songs that were chosen weren't the right tempo, or that they just weren't 'feeling' it.. It makes me sad because it seems as if the worship is more for our benefit than God's you know?

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    1. Hi Ren! You make such a great point... We can make worship more about us than the One we worship. I'd love to come worship with you! {although you might have to nudge me to quit chuckling at the fog machine! lol!}
      Thanks so much for visiting!
      Blessing to you my friend ~ Mary

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  8. Amen!!! I hear soooo many people complain about going to church because they don't like the music or some other trivial thing. I just want to remind them that it's not about what WE like or want - worship is all about our God and Savior!

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    1. Amen to your Amen, Beckey! Worship is about surrendering ourselves to the will of our Father. The pouring out of self so that He may fill us... all to His glory!
      So good to have you here today!
      Blessings to you as you worship our Lord ~ Mary

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  9. Amen to this post! I love a good worship service with music and great songs, but without intimacy with Christ it is nothing more than a show. Thanks for your words! Love it!

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    1. Hi Rachael! The very essence of worship is intimacy with Christ... Without that deep communion, sacrificial living is impossible. And you're right, without inward intimacy we just have outward 'show'.
      I'm glad you came by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  10. We can get so wrapped up in the hype stuff... I love how you breakdown what extreme worship is to you and the verse. I love it!! I am a worship leader at my church and we dont have a lot of that techie stuff..just a bit. There are times when we think we need it to be relevant. All it takes...you are right...our hearts beating in intimate communion with our Lord. BLESSING

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    1. Starla, thank you for serving the Lord as a worship leader! I'm sure you touch many lives through song. I know that when I'm watching a leader who's worshiping from the heart in intimate communion, I'm deeply blessed.
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  11. Hi Mary! Beautiful post! I'm a Christian as well and love your passion for Jesus! Our church looks a lot like your worship service above, with the lights and incredible songs! But you're right, extreme worship is more than that. I love how the Lord is moving around the world.

    I hope you have a blessed day!

    Heather
    My-Sweet-Mission.com

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    1. Heather, I'm so glad you made it by today! Extreme worship... allowing God to change our inner-most being changes the world!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

      I just took a look at your site... Extreme Yum!

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  12. Mary,
    You are so right!

    I loved this post and especially this

    "Extreme Worship is a matter of our hearts beating in intimate communion with our Lord"

    I especially love my time alone with Him each morning.

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    1. Dianne, I so love that you spend time with our Father each morning. That intimate time of communion is beautiful worship!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  13. Mary,
    Well said. And so true.

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    1. Martin, I appreciate your comment. Thanks so much for coming by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  14. I can't say anything a commenter hasn't already said. Yes, these things are nice, but they aren't essential and it kind of makes me sad that some churches feel the need to "advertise" them. Music and media are wonderful but can distract into a false sense of worship if we aren't careful. For instance, why do hands only go up in the air when the song is at the loudest part? I don't see that often during a hymn, but then the bass and drums come in and suddenly everyone is closer to God in that moment. Gotta be careful.

    Yikes...*steps off soapbox*

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    1. Bekah, we certainly need to keep our eyes and hearts on the One who deserves a surrendered life of worship. Embrace that which draws us to Him and discard that which distracts us from being a living sacrifice. It's ALL about Him!
      Blessing to you my 'soapbox' friend :) ~ Mary

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  15. Hi Mary, I found your blog through Prowess and Pearls"... What a true post. My husband is a worship pastor and we have recently moved from a contemporary church to a traditional church. What a gear shift, especially in "worship". We are used to the lights, fog machine, loud music, video streaming the words, etc... and it's very easy to get caught up in worship when you can't here yourself think. We have been at our "new church" (which is very old) for about 6 months and it has taken some time to get used to a different style. Our church is also "cross generational" meaning we have LOTS of older people and LOTS of younger people, and several in between... we also have 1 service. No "Traditional" service, no "contemporary" "late" service... we all worship together. Its a beautiful thing to see a 92 year old woman next to you worshiping through the same song, knowing her time with Jesus is so near. :) I also wrote a blog recently on that very VERSE you quoted. (I'll leave the link below) But, it just downed on me, at 30 that the verse says only to OFFER... God does with our life what he wills, he just wants us to lay it at his feet... even if it's doing the laundry for our families or being a missionary in an unreached land... we offer ourselves and our lives to him as our act of worship. http://wonderousblunderous.blogspot.com/2013/02/self-sacrifice-through-eyes-of.html

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    1. Heather, it's so nice to meet you. It sounds as though, with God's help, you've made quite a transition from contemporary to traditional. You've given such a beautiful illustration of the 92 year old woman worshiping along side a younger generation... that's awesome! I look forward to reading your post on sacrifice!
      thanks so much for visiting!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  16. I love me some worship. I've learned to love the loud with the lights and bands, as well as the soft with no instruments and just voices. Our God is so amazing when we just set our hearts on Him no matter the outward circumstances.

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    1. Alene, I couldn't agree more! It's about laying our hearts before Him in Spirit and in Truth. Thanks so much for coming by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  17. Yes, worship is a matter of the heart. Amen!

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    1. Debbie, I'm so glad you came by today! Worship is such a beautiful heart communion with our Lord!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  18. Yes, yes, yes. Extreme worship is not about a method, but a Master; not about our light-show performance, but a Savior's Performance! So grateful for your words. Thanks for linking with #TellHisStory!

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    1. Jennifer, you've said it beautifully! Thanks so much for coming by, and thanks for hosting Tell His Story linkup! I'm a big fan of your blog!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  19. What an incredible reminder! Thank you so much! I joined you on Facebook and would love you to come and visit me at theunraveledmom.com

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    1. Hi Susan! I'm so glad you came by tonight!
      Thanks for following! I'm on my way over to your site!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  20. Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing it. I visited from Fellowship Fridays.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you came by today!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  21. You are a breath of fresh air!!! I also worship in an extreme way, and attend a local body who does as well! I am adding your blog button, liking your FB, and adding your blog to my sidebar roll!! I can not wait to stop by for a longer visit. BTW, I found you through Fellowship Friday. Many blessings to you this week!

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    1. Hi Grace! I'm beyond blessed to hear that you're a fellow worshiper of our worthy God! Thanks for your kind words, adding my button to your site and following! I look forward to visiting your site and getting to know you!
      Blessings to you my friend ~ Mary

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  22. So true. I have attending a handful of different churches over the years and they are all different. small, large, modern, and traditional. I bring the worship with me...does not matter where I am. - Stopping over from Missional Women.

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    1. Kimberly, thanks for stopping by! Worship is definitely not about location or style... it's all about heart communion with our Lord.
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  23. Oh my goodness, yes! Amen to this. You have stated it so well. This is the true kind of extreme worship.

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    1. Hi Heather! It's such an honor to be able to worship our Lord and Savior!
      I'm so glad you came by!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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  24. I liked the things you shared near the end of your post about what extreme worship really is. Extreme worship is how I worship when no one is looking when it is just me and God. I don't have mega screens or misty fog in my home to produce an atmosphere of worship. I wouldn't want to wait until I went to church to be able to worship. I really liked how you summed this all up, Mary. Thanks so much for sharing this over at WholeHearted Home.

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    1. Thanks so much Judith! I love that beautiful time of communion with God... Worship is life... not a location or event. I appreciate the WHH linkup! Thanks for doing such a great job!
      Blessings to you ~ Mary

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