Here is something that has been a hot topic in my mind for the last several days. Does the congregation engage with the opportunity to worship? How can it be encouraged? How can you tell if they do or if they don’t?

I want to stay well clear of the legalism that this topic can introduce, meaning I’ll have to choose my words wisely. Have you ever played in a worship setting, and the congregation simply wasn’t pressing in? We are all there for only one reason, which is to worship God. Therefore, it shouldn’t even be your playing that gets them into it…it should be a choice they make and the inviting of the Holy Spirit that gets one to worship. But, have you ever been in a place where the people simply won’t respond?

Last week, my team was playing in the morning, and while there were a few that were engaging in it, most were not. They were shifting their focus from us, to the projector, and then occasionally to the odd one out who raised his/her hand. Expressionless. That is the word which almost completely sums up what it looked like. There wasn’t even critical evaluation going on…only a steady heartbeat.

I don’t say any of this to get on the case of someone who doesn’t particularly feel like closing their eyes, singing or putting up their hand. How you worship is up to you. I honestly couldn’t care any less how you do it, so long as you indeed do it. The problem I have is that what was being shown was an overwhelming sense of boredom, mixed with apathy. That is a deadly combination.

Enough about what I thought I saw/felt. The point here is that you are not meant to be some kind of observer in the congregation. Don’t sit back while the body comes together for musical worship (or any kind for that matter), but join them with everything you have! Once again, how you express your deep and undying love for your God is completely up to you, but no matter what way you look at it, sitting back and doing nothing doesn’t cut it.

What about when you play? Do you engage, or merely play the notes on the sheet in front of you?

God calls us to love him with, quite literally, all our all. Everything. He gave of Himself His only Son…killed for us. Brutalized for our sake, He still stood and carried that cross, and still got nailed to it. When you call yourself or think of yourself as a Christian, you uphold the symbol of the cross because it represents the sacrifice you were once willing to make. When we can’t give Him our thoughts, let alone time and anything else…what response is that? Is it a worthy one?

Deuteronomy 6:4.