Worship is high priority for us at Crossroads. And by “worship,” we mean honoring God for Who He is and for all He’s done.
God is both the sovereign of the universe and our redeemer. And He deserves nothing less than our deepest and sincerest expressions of adoration, love, devotion, reverence, and acclaim. (Click here for our worship Facebook page.)
Although our worship is expressed in many ways, here are three that are regularly part of our church’s worship experience.
Our worship bands skillfully employ a rock style of music. But it’s not intended to be a performance. They're inviting us to join them in singing our hearts out to God.
Now admittedly, few experiences are more awkward or intimidating than being asked to sing songs you’ve never heard before with a group of people you don’t know. Yet, that’s what happens to visitors every week at Crossroads. So the question that begs to be answered is, “Why would a church do this?”
The answer is simple. We believe that the value of helping people experience the presence of God outweighs the temporary anxiety they may feel about singing along with us. Most folks who gather up enough courage to visit a church do so because they hope that in some way they will meet God there. They long for His peace, His comfort, His wisdom, His encouragement, His healing, etc.
The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Although He is always near to those who seek Him, the spiritual activity of praise increases our sensitivity to His presence. And because singing songs of adoration to God is one of the most accessible forms of praise or worship, we don’t hesitate to encourage everyone to join in. We know that if they do, they won’t regret it.
We invite people to express their love for God with sincerity, sensitivity, and sanity. And one of the ways many of us do so is by spontaneously lifting our hands as we sing songs of gratitude and adoration.
This is not an act of superficial fanaticism. There are many places in the Bible where this worship posture is encouraged such as: "I will lift up my hands in Your name" (Psalm 63:3-4), and "Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven" (Lamentations 3:41).
Lifting hands is an expression of openness, surrender, and love. It’s like reaching toward God, our Heavenly Father, as a child would reach up to offer an embrace to a loving parent. It’s a powerful symbol of the affection many of us have for the One who has forgiven and restored us by His grace.
Though never a requirement, we extend everyone an open invitation to experience the blessing and freedom of this worship practice.
There are times during our worship set when we are invited to spontaneously verbalize our reverence and affection for the Lord with an impromptu chorus of individual voices raised in praise to God. There are several places in the scripture where this worship practice is encouraged. Among them, Psalm 66:9 says, “Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard.”
In a way, it’s like giving God a thank-you note with a handwritten, personal message inside rather than a preprinted, professionally composed one. It may be a little more challenging to create and perhaps a little less polished, but the value is in its raw sincerity. That’s why we encourage worshipers to lift their voices in “harmony” with the whole congregation and express their hearts to God with confidence and sincerity.