Are You Afraid of Worship?

I grew up in a church where on the front of the bulletin it said, “Enter in silence to worship…” (and, believe me, it was silent throughout). I would visit the church where my mom grew up, and it would be full of “Amens” while the pastor preached. That was foreign and scary to me. I had no idea that there were actually believers who were more expressive.

When I was a teenager, I began to see those who were more expressive. They were raising their hands and shouting. I was told that was totally of the flesh and that I should have no part in that because that’s what Charismatics do. Interestingly enough, shouting and the lifting of hands is in the Bible. Despite the fact that it is biblical, people are still afraid of what they do not know. Christians are just quicker to call it wrong if it is unfamiliar.

About 5 years ago, I found freedom in my personal worship. This freedom became a little easier to express publicly. By the time I was a pastor, those denominational Christians probably thought I was crazy. Some didn’t think I was expressive enough (another story for another post). But there came a time when that worship that people called wrong (though still biblical) meant more to me than ever.

When the world you once knew is knocked out from under you, you either get mad at God or find Him sweeter than ever. I did the latter. Going from being a pastor with a family to being all alone and unemployed, Jesus was my reason for staying alive. When I went back into leading worship in denominational churches, I had a lady at the last church I served tell me I reminded her of a Holiness preacher and she liked our denomination better. I laughed because I didn’t think I was that expressive. I believe now that an element of the church was uncomfortable with me and led to some of the pettiness that God used to reveal to me that it was time to leave. It proved to be a blessing because I can biblically express my praise at my current church and I am among friends.

Just because you didn’t grow up with a particular style of worship doesn’t mean it is wrong. You may never be the type to shout “Hallelujah!” or raise your hands, but find out what it means for you to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Then allow yourself to grow spiritually to the point where you can stand still and worship while the person next to you is dancing. I promise that you’ll find it liberating, for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

21 thoughts on “Are You Afraid of Worship?

  1. I was raised Catholic and well in church u can’t even breathe or when I started going to a new church 2 years ago…it was really different because people openly worshipped… I thought omg..this is church..but I now find myself openly church, at work, in the store,..everywhere.
    God is so good..I always think He wants us to openly worship Him. After all.. while on His throne aren’t the angels openly saying Holy, holy, holy!!??
    Great post!!!

  2. Very true. As I am growing in my walk I am learning to stop looking at every Christian and decide what they are doing is wrong. Everyone has their own unique walk with God. I’m not sure why we try to conform each other into what we think is right. They way in which people worship should be in the way God personally moves in their heart. I have never been comfortable with expressive worship. But I get chills when I’m in a room full of people raising their hands and praising God. I can feel God’s presence and the worship time is so sweet. Thanks. Nice post.

  3. Thank you for encouraging all types of worship and sharing your walk of faith. I started in a “quiet” church and now belong to a praise and worship church. Different style. Same loving God!

  4. I’m STILL in trouble for raising my hands in the air during our Vacation Bible School lol. According to my step daughter, some of the older members actually gasped.

    In our church, if you kill a fly you have to do it one handed or someone will think you clapped.

    We are, however, loosening up…which is a good thing.

      1. I would agree I didn’t end up on this out of the way place by accident

        But that is true for us all..every man and woman has a reason to be where they are

  5. well, I tend to believe we can either be fleshly or spiritual during both expressive and inexpressive…if we are playing by the rules of traditions of man, we fall into trap..we know deep down in our hearts whether we are doing it genuinely or falsely…only we know it… sadly nobody knows about it and therefore wrong to Michal judged David for his expressive worship where he danced to GOD half naked…later scriptures say she was barren for rest of her lives…so it is really difficult to judge

  6. I grew up in a very stoic church. Later, with kids of my own, I began to wonder if there was more to church than holding down a pew and began to branch out. It was then I found praise and worship and learned how to be uninhibited before the Almighty, giving Him every ounce of worship with in me. Some days that includes dancing and others it is just simply sitting in His presence. The freedom to praise and worship God with out rules or regulations, just to love on Him with my whole heart is the most amazing thing ever!!

  7. Awesome post. I grew up Catholic then experienced different religions… Assembly of God, Baptist, Non-denominational. I have found that the best way to worship is how our Precious Holy Spirit leads you, whether it is dancing in your seat, running down the isles, or sitting quietly in worship in the secret place of your heart. It’s not about religion. It’s all about a relationship with our Lord… and He knows what lies in your heart because He dwells there.

  8. We must have worship which shows our deepest pains, joys, excitement, and fears, for Christ came to redeem us and restore us- taking our human experience and living it perfectly. To have emotionless praise is to renounce part of the imago dei (for God himself is passionate), and also rejects how Christ gives full expression to our emotions.
    Great post.

  9. I’m an expressive worshipper. I sang the hyms with soprano-gusto. Raised my hands, later, the IB pastor preached that raising-hands isn’t aloud. My family and I were told to go. Blessing to have left it. But I still maintain sweet friendships with beautiful women there.

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