Heart Revolution

Author Dallas Willard reminds us, “the revolution of Jesus is in the first place and continuously a revolution of the human heart or spirit.”  The people that enter our worship services have their hearts dragged in many directions by the world that they live in and too often find themselves powerless to resist the pull.  As a result  the Jesus direction lifted up in gathered worship is thrown off course.  A collision course is set for real “worship wars” whereby sin and unchristian attitudes clash with  the presence of a holy righteous God.  The battle is waged as the Holy Spirit convicts on one hand and the father of lies distorts or dismisses truth on the other.  The hope we find in confession, forgiveness, and proclamation of faith are rooted in Christ.  A true change of heart made possible only through His work brings His people to take the presence of His Kingdom into the places where they live.  Christian worship reorients us to the Christ-following path.  The ongoing heart transformation is needed such that Christ is formed in us (Gal 4:19).  Songs, psalms, prayers, sermons, testimonies, baptisms, and sharing communion all participate in the revelation-response rhythm of worship that glorifies Him.

Distractions to Christ-centered worship abound, and far too often distractions begin with those called to serve by leading, either in preaching or music.  It makes sense that this would be a Hell-birthed tactic to circumvent worship. After all, if the leaders are distracted or worse yet, derailed, surely the followers will plummet as well.  Distractions come in many forms – feuds over music styles, infatuation with dramatic or technical prowess, obsession with artistic expression for its own sake, manipulative egotistical maneuvers, infidelity in relationships, etc.  In recent weeks I have been made aware of a flurry of worship leaders either dismissed from their positions, or placed on notice to move on.  In other situations church battles that have been bubbling under the surface for some time have erupted to full blown disunity.  Each of these scenarios has its own story, and I am certainly not privy to all information by any means, but I know enough to know that somewhere in each saga there is a common theme; distraction from Christ-centeredness.  Whether laymen or vocational ministers, absence of Christ-like attitudes among church leaders cries out for correction.  Biblical orthodoxy and grace-filled orthopraxy are basic to Christian leadership.  Lord help us.

I often make reference to a book title by  G.K. Beale.  The book itself is a deeply convicting study of idolatry entitled We Become What We Worship. When I work with churches in studies of worship renewal I often muse that an expansion of this book title’s logic could lead one to conclude that we might be able to tell what or who a church (or person for that matter) worships by who or what they are becoming. Churches, as institutional organizations, so often get caught up in building buildings, promoting themselves through marketing schemes, and many other distracting endeavors, that they give evidence of worshiping themselves.  Even gathered worship can become a self-gratifying effort toward an experience, usually cloaked in worship-speak.

Let us keep our eyes fixed on Christ.  Worship centered in Him will surely lead us to become more Christ-like, exemplified in the way we treat one another and others.  Worship Leaders, we depend on you to help us.

In Christ,


Explore posts in the same categories: Church Music, Leading Worship, Private Worship, Singing Worship, Spiritual formation through singing, Worship Leaders, Worship Pastors, Worship Reminders, Worship theology, Worship thoughts, Youth Worship

4 Comments on “Heart Revolution”

  1. Hi Paul,

    I appreciated your comment on my blog, so popped by yours to read this great reflection. All too often we forget about theology (especially the “theo” in theology) when we speak about, plan, and lead worship. The prophets spend time inditing the priests when Israel’s life goes off track – I think it’s not too far a stretch to say that we need to look to our worship (and our worship leaders?) when our congregation gets off track. Hoping to post this week about something I call “subliminal liturgy” (how worship shapes our congregations – whether we realize it or not). Would appreciate your feedback!

    • Paul Clark Jr Says:

      So glad I found your blog. Interested in like minded pondering and reflections. More importantly I am interested in your theological foundation for your articles. Blessings from one blogger to another.

  2. David Manner Says:

    Paul, this sounds like a thesis for a new book. I’ll buy the first copy. I am reminded by your reference to Christ Centered worship of Webber’s constant claim that worship is entering and doing God’s story, not the story of our own making. We continue to invert the revelation and response. Thanks for a timely reminder.

    • Paul Clark Jr Says:

      I think we invert revelation and response because of our tendency toward functionally unitarian worship. What is saddest about such an approach is that it lacks faith in Him, what He is doing, and what He has done… As far as the book thing goes – I come with the ideas, it’s your turn to write the book. 🙂

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