Worship not performance.

Worship not performance.

We have a new choir director at Florissant Presbyterian Church.  This may not be his favorite line in a year, but right now he seems to often say, “Remember, this is worship, not a performance.”

The first time he said it, I didn’t quite get it.  Of course, it’s worship.  We’re here.  In church.

As I’ve heard this repeated over the last few weeks, my understanding has deepened.

In a performance, the focus is on the artist.  This is me, strutting my stuff.  Look at me!   Hear me!   Aren’t I amazing?  In a performance, you strive for perfection.  People are here, after all, to see what you can do.

That all changes when it isn’t a performance.

In worship, the focus is on God.  Look at Him.  Hear what He tells us!  Isn’t He Awesome? We are no longer the focus but are instead focusing on our Creator, pointing the way for others.  After all, the people seated throughout the sanctuary aren’t there to hear us strut our stuff.  They are there because they want to have a closer relationship with God.  They too are there to worship.

When we perform, the notes and the timing is vital.  So is our annunciation.  The pressure is on to get it down and to get it perfect.

In worship, the message comes to the foreground.  God is the center of the scripture, of the prayers, of the sermon, of each and every song, and of our every action.

How different would the world be if we could just remember that?