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Experiencing God: What’s this corporate worship thing all about?
By Elizabeth Rhyno – Director of Relational Arts, Waterline Church
One of the things I (Elizabeth Rhyno) love the most about Waterline is the variety of people who call it home. We have come from all over the place, and bring a colorful blend of backgrounds and experiences. Many (if not most of us), did not grow up in church. I love that! It means we have the opportunity to really grow together as God shapes Waterline to be the perfect fit for our community.
With so many people brand new to church, let’s talk a little about corporate worship. What is it, and why do we do it? God created us to know and enjoy Him, and our worship is a natural response to Him as He reveals Himself to us.
Music pulls our emotions into our expressions of gratitude, trust, and dependence.
We sing songs together that remind us of His character, and that He is active in our lives. It opens us up to be vulnerable with God. Melody and rhythm also act as forceful memory pegs, helping the truths of God stick in our minds throughout the week.
Scripture teaches us who God is, and helps us to know what He wants us to know.
We read or listen to it to remind us that God has been actively writing His Story for many generations, and we get to be part of something much bigger than ourselves.
We need help applying the Bible’s teachings to our everyday circumstances.
Our Pastor teaches us from Scripture, because God’s Word is a powerful tool to help us think according to God’s values and heart. We live in a world where truth is thought to be relative, but the Bible reminds us that truth begins with God.
God hears us when we pray, and He wants us to depend on Him.
We pray together because we all need to be reminded that we can trust God with our lives.
Our giving furthers the work that we are able to do in our surrounding community so people can come to know Jesus.
We give our tithes and offerings to thank God for providing for us, but also because we trust that God wants to use what we have to bring life to people around us.
We all have needs, and when we hear others’ stories of God, our own faith in Him grows.
We share our life stories because they show off God’s heart and faithfulness. God made us for community, and most of us need to learn to be vulnerable. Sharing our God-stories grows us closer as a family.
God designed us for His pleasure, and to connect to Him in a close relationship. And He intends for us to experience Him as we choose to pay attention to Him. Each part of our worship is geared toward that very thing. At Waterline, we call our worship times together “Experiences” because we believe God is with us when we come together to focus on Him each week. Imagine for a moment how you smile when you see little ones sing and dance together. Then realize that it delights our good Father too when we come together to celebrate and worship Him.
As you are preparing to come to church next weekend, remind yourself that God wants you to experience Him. Thank Him for giving you special opportunities to come together with other people to grow closer to Him. And pray that during our Experiences we will be each get to know and enjoy Jesus a little better.
Elizabeth Rhyno, is a singer/songwriter, leader, teacher and conference speaker. Elizabeth serves as the Director of Relational Arts at Waterline Church. Elizabeth has a passion for training future leaders in all areas of platform worship ministry and oversees the creative expressions of worship at Waterline.