Thirty years ago, Apostolic Pentecostal worship leaders were forceful and demanding of their congregations. Demonstrating physically in worship was not just encouraged, it was demanded. Sometimes worship leaders were almost hostile towards their “not lively enough” congregation. Being “wild for God” was proclaimed as an appropriate mindset for worship.
This pressure-cooker environment made quiet people misfits in their own church. This coerciveness seemed at odds with real biblical worship to me. Nothing makes worshipers more unhappy than a leader trying to force them to be happy. Being one of those introverts led me to search the Scripture for a better understanding of true biblical worship.I have learned if a worship leader can help people see Jesus, they will worship Him. Click To Tweet
I asked myself, “Was extreme physical demonstration ultimate worship?” and “Can an introvert be a worshiper?” I discovered that ultimate worship cannot be measured in kinetic energy or in decibels of sound, but the purest worship causes the worshiper to bow, kneel, and even prostrate themselves in adoration before God. I learned that praise is animated expression and can be defined as a “celebration” of God. Worship is “adoration.”
My search led me to write a book. Over many years, Pentecostal Worship was on the UPCI ministerial license required reading list. I believe the book has had a positive influence on Apostolic Pentecostal worship. I see fewer bizarre demonstrations today and worship leaders do much more positive motivation.
Congregations are no longer made to conform to high octane expressions of worship, but worshipers are allowed to adore God in a way that harmonizes with their personality. I have learned if a worship leader can help people see Jesus, they will worship Him. This book is for worship leaders, quiet worshipers, exuberant worshipers, and for those just wanting to know more about what the Bible says about the subject.
Gary D. Erickson serves as director of library services at Urshan College.