The book of Psalms is the greatest worship handbook ever compiled, the greatest hymnal ever penned, and the greatest collection of exhortations to worship ever assembled. Every worship pastor or worship leader is wise to throw him/herself into the sacred Psalms. The book of Psalms ends this way:
Hallelujah! Praise God in His sanctuary. Praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His powerful acts; praise Him for His abundant greatness. Praise Him with trumpet blast; praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with flute and strings. Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals.
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Hallelujah! (Psalm 150)
The compliers of the Psalms believed Psalm 150, a challenge to praise God for who He is and what He has done, is the most appropriate ending to all the incredible content discovered in the book. In the text, the word praise is in the imperative tense, which means it is a command. This psalm is one massive and repetitive command to praise the Lord.
Evidently, the psalmist shrugged off the complaints of being too repetitive with the lyrics.
Before giving instructions on how to worship, the instruments to grab, and the posture to assume, the psalmist lays the foundation for why God’s people must praise Him — for His greatness and His powerful acts. Israel was commanded to praise God in response to all God had done for His people: adoption, deliverance from slavery, God’s gracious pursuit despite their sin, His loving protection, etc. In the same way, we are to worship Him because of His great work on our behalf. Through the work of Jesus on our behalf, He adopted us, delivered us from our sin, and pursued us in our unfaithfulness. And He continually and graciously provides for us all that we need.
As church leaders, we sometimes jump to the practice and particulars of worship. We sometimes ask questions about style, sets, technology, and atmosphere without discussing the deeper issues–without remembering the foundation on which all worship must stand. Before we grab the harp, lyre, and tambourine, we must remember His grace. Our doxology (our glory statements) must be built on an accurate and grace-filled theology (our thinking about God).
Because of this, I am really excited about Doxology and Theology. Doxology & Theology is a coalition of worship leaders and thinkers who all believe in the gospel’s preeminent role in governing and shaping Christian worship. D&T exists – to promote gospel-centered worship. The second Doxology & Theology worship conference, November 13-15, 2014 , will be held at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. The D&T Conference is specifically geared for worship leaders and worship teams who have a desire to more fully understand the role and function of scripture in worship thought a biblical lens. D&T will also have special tracks for worship leaders of church plants through breakout sessions and panel discussions with worship leaders who have planted churches. So if you want more information, click here.
This article was originally published at EricGeiger.com on September 9, 2012. Eric Geiger serves as one of the Vice Presidents at LifeWay Christian Resources, leading the Church Resources Division. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball. Eric can be found on Twitter @RealEricGeiger and at Facebook.com/RealEricGeiger.