Is it Possible?
Perhaps a perfect worship service is one where everything goes exactly right. Every musical note is on pitch, on time, and in the right place. Both the vocalists and the instrumentalists nail each song without a glitch. Every word is timed beautifully. Each movement is choreographed to the nth degree and pulled off flawlessly. When you look back on the entire service, you would not see one error. Would that be a perfect worship service?
Maybe a perfect worship service would be where all the people in the congregation actually participate all the way through. They sing and respond just as those in leadership hope they will. Each person willingly stands or sits, speaks, sings or listens as would be appropriate for the moment. Would that be a perfect worship service?
It could be that a perfect worship service would have something to do with the environment. The acoustics of the building add to—as opposed to detracting from—the overall goal of the service. The lighting and ambiance are just right, perhaps changing in different places in the service to reflect the appropriate mood. Suitable banners, projected images, or other symbols set the tone for the theme of the service. Even the temperature would be just right for all involved—both male and female. Would that be a perfect worship service?
Or maybe a perfect worship service is one where everyone leaves happy. They have each experienced a beautiful blend of musical styles that accommodated their own taste. There was a perfect ratio between participation and listening. Each and every person would leave the service with a big smile because they were perfectly satisfied with every single thing that happened. Would that be a perfect worship service?
It seems to me that all of these things are desirable. Honestly, though, I think that perfection in any of these areas is probably not going to happen. The biggest, most well-funded churches in the world, with large, full-time staffs, regularly meet after the service to discuss what they could have done better. Why? Because they know there is always room for improvement. Perfection in the physical realm—or perfection in making every person happy—is not going to happen this side of heaven.
So, in light of this, could we ever have a perfect worship service? Well, what if we look at this issue from God’s perspective? God told the prophet Samuel, “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Rather than striving for perfection in the physical realm or trying to make everyone happy, what if we willingly turn our hearts to Him? This is not to suggest that we should slack off on doing our best with the music and other aspects. God is deserving of the very best we can offer. So we should put forth our very best effort. When everything is said and done, however, He wants our hearts.
Let’s make the choice this week to turn our hearts toward God as we lead His people in worship.
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