W-O-R-S-H-I-P, Part 4: Sensitive

     The Sensitive Worshiper is keenly attuned to the moving and leading of the Holy Spirit—on Sundays, as well as every other day of the week. Following the Spirit in worship isn’t just a Sunday morning phenomenon; it is a daily discipline. The fruit of truly Spirit-filled weekend worship services can be traced back to the (unglamorous and tedious) ‘seed planting’ that takes place on Tuesday mornings or Thursday evenings or some other day and time that often feels ‘less spiritual’. Vigilance is key. A sensitive minister must keep a sharp eye out for any influences that threaten to dull his awareness of, and responsiveness to, the Spirit’s activity in his life.

     Another aspect of sensitivity in worship concerns musical styles/genres. A sensitive minister is acutely aware of the current context in which he serves, but he is not a slave to it. He serves the worshiping community by appreciating where they are and also challenging them to consider where they’ve been and where they’re going. He is a pacifist when it comes to ‘worship style wars’. Songs and styles are at the mercy of the essential: not what is popular but what is proper. ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve’ (Matthew 20:28)—and so it is with liturgical music. Music serves the liturgy and so serves the people of God in assisting them in prayer. If a certain song fails to assist in this singular mission, that song’s place in a congregational setting should be questioned and evaluated promptly.

     The Sensitive Worshiper is vigilant and vulnerable, watchful and welcoming, mindful and malleable.