musings on worship and christian living

What if the song stops?
August 23, 2008, 1:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There has been a worship “movement” throughout the world in the last decade, a revival of praise if you will.  Concerts have transformed into church services and worship festivals are as common as rock festivals.  Evidence of this hunger for worship is found in the release of worship albums from every major music artist, maybe the result of that artists love for worship… maybe a result of the industries desire to get a cut of the profits this new move is generating.  

Whatever the venue it is apparent that worship through music is still on the rise.  I suppose I am part of that move as a “worship artist”, whatever that means.  But as the world goes worship crazy it just begs the question, what IS worship?  Or rather (like I’ve blogged before), HOW do we worship?

One thing is very apparent.  In the Christian church worship is almost completely synonymous with music.  What comes to mind when you are going to a worship service?  A worship band and music.  A worship concert?  Same thing.  I would wager to say that any and all worship services are focused on music, and most people end the story with worship in that moment.  Now don’t get me wrong, music is an incredible gift from God, able to stir the heart and open doors.  But is that definition incomplete?  

I have been thinking a lot about worship lately, go figure.  But my heart keeps coming back to worship as lifestyle, not music style.  What does it mean to worship with life instead of in a 30 minute music set on a Sunday morning?  Sometimes I think my brain does its best thinking when I’m asleep as I often wake up with very profound thoughts… and true to form I woke up yesterday with a thought in my head:

what if the song stops?

What if tomorrow no more songs could be written?  If we just lost the music, if our ability to sing was taken from our mouths?  What if tomorrow our instruments no longer played and music became just a memory of melody?  What if music could no longer be made… what if the song stopped?

What if?!  Would we still worship?  What would it look like?  Do we live lives of worship already?  Would the transition be an easy and natural one?  Or would we lose the passion of our adoration, would we fight for the words to say in a language we do not know, the language of life as worship?  

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  

Worship is not dedicated to music only… worship is a lifestyle that brings glory to God.  But our compartmentalized lives so often fail to achieve the greatest worship of all.  We put things in their “place” and rarely begin to think about Christian life as a complete overhaul, a complete change from our sinful nature.  

I want to live a life of worship… a life that is not dependent upon a song for me to show my adoration to the God who saves.  More than just that life for me, I ache for the church to discover that passion, that dream.  A life lived to glorify the King.  And I believe that if we could grow communities of Christians who worship God not only in song but in life then we will begin to see the kingdom grow… we will begin to see lives truly change.  

Chorus Excerpt – “If the Song Stops”
(C)2008 Nathan Arnold

If the melodies weren’t lifted from the mouths of congregations
If the songs of praise could no longer be played
Would the voices of redemption still shout loud the name of Jesus
If the song stops would we praise


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

you have a gift, my friend. i remember sitting in a chapel at warner and hearing about this very thing. lou foltz taught me about this too. it’s like the similarity between “happiness” and “joy” and where our hearts are at continually….EVERY DAY. worship is not circumstantial, nor is joy. music and happiness are; they fade. and if the music stopped, we would be left with our hearts. i hope you are inspired to finish that song, i’d love to hear it some time.

Comment by Shan

oh, it’s done… I just don’t want anyone stealing it before it’s copyrighted! 🙂

Comment by nathanarnold

oh what a teaser. well that’s good to hear.

Comment by Shan

I already stole it. 🙂

Comment by Steve

Wow…thanks for sharing this.

Comment by colette

I have only heard it once and the melody has been stuck in my head. Very profound song.

Comment by sue

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