Worship will be a powerful part of the Sunday morning experience at Vanguard. We believe that a church united in worship is pleasing to the Lord and a powerful witness to a watching world.
Worship is the adoration and celebration of an awesome God.
Because we all have the sinful propensity to make worship about us instead of the Lord Jesus Christ, our worship ministry will be built on the following 10 biblical convictions.
We believe the Bible teaches that worship should be…
1. Vertical: Jesus Christ is the only object worthy of our worship. Our services are fervently focused on the transcendent glory of God, not the seeker who may be visiting. However, we do recognize that our worship can be a witness to those visiting our church who do not know Christ. (Ps. 29:1-2; 83:18; 86:10; Jn. 4:23-24; 1Cor. 14:25)
2. Unified: It is Christ-centered, not consumer driven. All examples of worship given in the Scripture feature God's people unified in their praise to him as opposed to segregated based on stylistic preferences. (Rom. 14:1; 1Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:3-6; II Tim. 2:3)
3. Transformative: Biblical worship should lead the believer to an intimate encounter with the living God. Nearly every example in Scripture where humans encountered God led to dramatic life-change. (Ex. 24:17; Isa. 6:1-5; Lk. 2:9; 1Cor. 14:25)
4. Rooted: We will strive to emphasize fresh and contemporary expressions while retaining traditional elements that recognize the richness of our heritage in the faith. Songs chosen should be doctrinally true and theologically rich regardless of whether they have a melodic hook. Classic hymns that are rich in theology will still be used but should be "modernized" to fit our current music culture. Elements of our worship include baptisms, singing, praying, reading Scripture, tithes and offerings, communion, meditation, etc. (Dt. 32:7; 1Chr. 16:29; Ps. 33:3; Eph. 5:19; 2 Tim. 4:3; Rev. 5:9)
5. Relevant: Worship styles have evolved throughout history and across cultures. The Scriptures teach that God likes new songs. Artists throughout the generations have tried with their own finite minds to capture in song the majesty and glory of an infinite God. This work will not be exhausted or complete until the Lord returns some day. Biblical worship also uses a plurality of instruments often determined by region and mainstream culture. (Ps. 33:2-3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; 150:3-6)
6. Emotional: A broad spectrum of emotions are described in the Scriptures where true worship takes place. Some of these include but are not limited to shouts of joy, amazement, delight, passion and brokenness. (Job 22:6; Ps. 33:1,3; 47:1; 96:9; 112:1; Isa. 6:1-5)
7. Physical: God-honoring worship in the Scriptures always involved physical expressions that reflected the Spirit's work in a person's heart. Thus, the clapping of hands, bowing down and lifting hands are acceptable expressions of worship. (Ps. 47:1; 63:4; 95:6; 123:1; Rev. 7:11)
8. Spiritual: God's Word makes a distinction between simply playing an instrument versus worship. True worship, the kind that Jesus Christ demands and desires, is a spiritual exercise that can only be done by those that are born-again and have a personal relationship with Christ. True worship overflows from the heart of a genuine believer that is being changed by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in his life. (Jn 4:23-24; 7:38; Rom. 12:1-2; 1Cor. 2:14)
9. Excellent: Excellence pleases God, minimizes distractions in the worship service and attracts additional leaders. Because God deserves our best, worship team members should not only have the right heart but also the right talent to serve on the team. They should practice their instruments regularly and take their craft seriously. Doing so increases excellence, which brings more glory to God and allows those with trained ears to focus on Him during worship. (Ex. 28; 35; Deut. 17:1; 1Sam. 16:18; Ps. 33:3; 1Tim. 4:14-15; Heb. 11:4)
10. Modeled: Our worship team members are not performers before an audience but instead servant leaders that model true worship for the church before the Audience of One. As leaders, they should live an exemplary life that is above reproach. (1Cor. 4:16-17; 11:1)