If you have ever attended a worship gathering in a local Vineyard church setting, you may have noticed a few things during your experience.
As the musical part of the worship service began, you may have sensed anticipation in the gathering, like they were looking forward to what was about to happen. It’s possible the worship leader communicated a sense of closeness and familiarity with God in their prayers, and that the leader was eager for the congregation to experience God in worship.
As those gathered began to sing, you may also have observed the abandoned expression of love freely being offered by the worshippers, and the music taking on a secondary place. As the songs played on, you may have thought that the people in the room seemed to be aware of God being present with them, that worship was interactive.
You may have noted those gathered were having an encounter with God as they sang songs about loving Jesus. Words of adoration, thanksgiving, and confession may have been sung or spoken, in simple or poetic ways. You may have seen people all around you with hands raised, singing passionately, or on their knees in devotion.
As the leader started and finished each song, you might have observed an absence of hype or stirring up of emotion from the crowd. Maybe you sang for 20, 30, or even 40 minutes, moving in and out of songs with fluidity, as if they were prayers rather than just musical presentations.
Phrases like “the Kingdom of God,” “I love you,” and “Holy Spirit, come” may have been in the lyrics. After the message, as a time of prayer for individuals began, the band may have begun to play, accompanying a time of compassionate ministry.
If any part of what you just read is true of your experience, then you’ve probably already begun to taste the heart of what it means to us – as a Vineyard family – to worship.
In the following pages we’ll look briefly at who we worship, why we worship, and how we worship – all from a Vineyard perspective. Then, we’ll weave all those ideas together as we look at worship through the unique values of the Vineyard movement.
By the time you are finished, may you find your heart filled with a desire to express your love to God as he has expressed his love to you. The heart is where worship always begins.