In previous comments about worship, I have bagged on worship in the institutional church as being more out of custom than design.
As I have dug into male worship and explored how our company worships, I have been shocked to find out that this exact same accusation applies to us. Ouch.
Our staff has been predominantly female over the years. Yet as I explored what male worship looks like, I have again and again come back to the realization “That is how we worship!”
And the problem is the “we.” I set the values in the company. There are a few values that we overtly express and inculcate, but there are a lot more values that are absorbed by simply being around me month after month. I am an intense personality and without trying to overwhelm people, I do.
Because I accidentally and incidentally evolved into male worship just because it felt right to me (certainly no thought-out theology of worship up until now), the gals have followed my lead and for the most part, the majority of their worship is very male.
Now this is not a problem per se. As I stated in the previous blog, we are to know God as both men and women. We are all sons of God, even the ladies, and we are all the Bride of Christ, even the men. So we must learn to walk in both relationships.
Similarly, I do not worship exclusively as a man. I have put on some extraordinary female worship events in the past. And the girls do not worship exclusively as men. However, because of my heavy bias toward male worship, they have come to worship as men much more often than as women.
So part of our journey will be to learn well both art forms, then to choose intentionally which to use in each situation.
It is going to require a significant retooling of our office worship times to be able to shift back and forth between the two. One big question is whether God has a preference for one type or the other. In other words, do we simply choose whether we want to do it this way or that way today, or are there “appropriate” times for one or the other? And if so, what makes it “appropriate?”
How would we know? Are there markers on time that would give us clues? What about promptings from the Holy Spirit? Or is this a principle thing? If I were to assemble a hundred cases of each from the Word, would I be able to create a grid saying “These 20 situations call for male worship and these 20 for female?”
I don’t know yet, but it is quite fascinating to be asking questions we have never considered before.
Now here is a long reach. Learning how to toggle between male and female worship intentionally is a challenge we are just now bumbling around with. We don’t even have an outline as to how to do that. I just know that we need to get to the place where we can do both and can choose.
Both the institutional church needs to be able to add some male worship to their predominantly female style, and my team needs the freedom to revert to female worship when it is right and not just mirror my very male style.
But, here is a far out dream. What would it look like to have both female and male worship going on simultaneously in perfect synchronicity? Is that an option? So far, I have not found it in Scripture, but my search is superficial at best so far.
So, I will wonder as I wander through the pages of Scripture.
I know already that this is going to massively reframe my whole relationship with God.
But really − I got to 60 years old without ever even WONDERING about design-based worship? How lame is that!!!!
Copyright March 2014 by Arthur Burk