How Should Worship Look Differently After Quarantine?

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My dad and I have had a few conversations lately about how the church should look after the quarantine.

And there is one thing we have both said: If the church goes back to business as usual, she has missed God’s will.

I truly believe that this quarantine has been a precious gift from the hand of God to us, to do something in us that couldn’t be done with all our programs, and hustle and bustle.

He had to cancel the progams.

Close the doors.

Strip back the layers upon layers of “stuff” that make up what we call “church” and remind us that we are the church!

That when all of the programs are canceled, the church is still strong.

How Should Worship Look Differently After Quarantine?

I can’t speak to how the church generally should look differently after quarantine.

I’m not a pastor, so I don’t believe it is my place to speak in that context.

But I led worship for many years, and I do believe this is an area where I feel I can speak.

I’ve seen a wide spectrum of what worship looks like: In big churches, in small churches, at conferences and seminars…at the Bible school I attended where worship is central to what they do and what they’re known for.

I’ve seen it all:

From the massive production of worship by professional musicians…

To the small offering of those who are self-taught and mostly just play for their own pleasure.

1. Strip back the professionalism

Every picture my children have drawn, since they could hold a crayon, is a masterpiece.

Imagine my anger if a trained artist looked at their crude drawing of a dinosaur (that doesn’t even closely resemble a dinosaur) and criticized it?

Okay, one would argue, “But you wouldn’t put a framed print of their drawing in an art gallery.”

No, I wouldn’t.

And the church isn’t a stage. It isn’t a production…or at least it shouldn’t be.

The church is our family home, and in the family home all of our offerings are precious to God — no matter how crude or precise they are.

If in the family home we begin to elevate only those who are exceptionally gifted while excluding those who have a slightly lesser ability because they don’t measure up to a standard you can’t find in Scripture, then our family home isn’t what it should be.

Any gift you have isn’t yours anyway.

You have nothing that God didn’t give you to begin with. So there is no room for pride or elevation of one’s self because of one’s ability.

While I know that there are those who use vague Scripture references to drive home a point that God used trained musicians in the temple, I don’t believe that the New Testament church was meant to be exclusionary and ministry limited to those with professional training.

Even your professional training is all because of God, because He first gave you something to train.

2. Get back to the heart of worship

What is the heart of worship?

Have you asked yourself that question lately?

We sing, “I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about you, Jesus.”

And yet, the spotlights are focused on the worship team, and they are the center of attention at a time when we should have our attention centered on God.

In the Old Testament, the people brought sacrifices to God – that was their worship.

Today, we don’t sacrifice animals on an altar to God; instead, our worship is our sacrifice.

But when we bring our sacrifice of praise, where is our attention directed?

When we come back to the heart of worship, all of the “stuff” is stripped away and it’s just me, my sacrifice, and Jesus.

And it doesn’t matter if we’re singing a 30-year old Hosanna! chorus, a 150 year old hymn from an old red-back hymnal, or Waymaker.

None of that even matters – because it’s all about my obedience to Christ and out of deep, deep love and devotion, laying my sacrifice on the altar.

The sacrifice that Christ first laid in my hands to give.

3. We can’t go back to church as usual

Dear sisters, if we go back to church as usual when this quarantine is over, we’ve missed it.

We’ve missed God’s visitation.

How tragic would it be if God was standing here in our midst this whole time, teaching us and instructing us, and we were busy…

  • Fussing with people about how restrictive the measures are
  • Bemoaning the fact that we miss our friends
  • Griping about the President and our politicians
  • Yelling about how our rights and freedoms are being stripped from us
  • Spending our day on one Zoom call after the next, or whittling our time away on social media

And we didn’t catch a thing He said?

Dear ones, He’s saying that we can’t go back to church as usual…with all of the programs and production;

With all of the professionalism and slick appearance;

With all of the spotlights and smoke machines;

With all of the edgy branding of Revolutionary War beards and slick-back hair, and skinny jeans.

The church has been distracted too long with professionalism, production, and branding.

It’s time to get back to the heart of worship.

But for real this time!

More articles on worship

Resources for Worship

Live Worship – eBook

5 Day Quiet Time Journal – Worship vols 1 & 2 – Free Download

Blog Posts

9 Hebrew Words for Worship

9 Ways We Make Worship All About God

How to Live a Life of Worship

7 Weapons for Spiritual Warfare

How to Use Worship As a Spiritual Weapon

This is What is Wrong With Worship Today

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Joke About Worship

3 Ways Our Worship Turns to Witchcraft

How Should Worship Look Differently After Quarantine?

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One Comment

  1. Amen, Sister!

    A little over a year ago, our youth/music minister resigned and left our congregation. Our preacher took over both the youth group and the praise team. He is not a musician. Within a month, most of the praise team quit. To be fair to them, losing the music minister was the fourth n the line to significant losses to the group in five years. At that time three other members of the team had died (two young men from cancer, and the third with a heart attack), However, there were some hard feelings and frustration on all sides (the term “control freak” was used a lot). within a few weeks, church attendance began to drop like a stone. It’s about half now what it was. It wasn’t a huge church to start with; about 140 average. Yes, if people quit coming because the praise team was gone, they were coming for the wrong reasons, but while they were there, they were hearing the Word.

    Enter Covid 19. For the last month, our preacher has recorded sermons and worship music that is available on Vimeo and Facebook on Sunday morning. His sermon this week was about a similar subject. As far as the church is concerned, we cannot go back to what was normal before this happened. We need to be the church, and we need to remember our purpose!

    My husband and I had been praying for church repentance and revival for several months now. We have also had many conversations about the difference between leading worship and providing entertainment, and we’ve prayed about that too. Yesterday, I turned to him and said, “When this is over, I think there are two possibilities: One, the church will be packed full, or two, people will have gotten so out of the habit that they won’t come back.

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