Ministry Overview: Worship

 Hello there, dear family of God! 

Our Communications Director (and my dear friend) Whitney recently informed me that GRC has received in 90+ new members (adult and children’s communicant) over the last year and half. Praise God! I’ll use the space below to give you a sort of “overview” of the GRC Worship Ministry, one that is hopefully edifying for both new and old GRCers! I’m going to focus on Romans 12:1 with it. 

“Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God –  this is your true and proper worship.” – Romans 12:1 

(Fun sidenote: I started attending Celebrate Recovery this fall, and as some of you might know, each Recovery Step is rooted in a Scripture passage. Romans 12:1 is Step 3. My kids and I have been using part of our morning elementary-school commute to memorize the Recovery Step Scriptures. So far, we have made it to Step 6…in six months!). 

Here is what the Worship Ministry strives for in our GRC worship:

  1. Gospel Truth: I remember during my first year as Director, a friend on the worship team humbly approached me about the songs I had planned for that Sunday. Not one of the songs I had picked mentioned the cross, Christ’s atonement for sin, or his blood. Lesson: preach the Gospel, in word and song! If a non-believer came into our service, would the songs we sing tell the redemptive story of God? 
  2. Integrity: This could fall under the truth category as well. If we find ourselves unable to explain what we are singing about, or if we can’t support the song lyrics from Scripture  – especially to an unbelieving friend, we might not want to be singing that song. Our Worship Team Values actually state: “lyrics over tunes” – a reminder for us song leaders as we choose music for our congregation. 
  3. Scope: I firmly believe that through the scope of diverse music, we enhance the glory of God. He is the creator of all cultures, after all! And even if it isn’t our own “cup of tea”, as long as it is God-honoring, we use our non-preferences as an opportunity to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). Scope in time as well; we as a team recognize in humility that songwriters from 2024 back to 1724 (and beyond) can steer our hearts to the truth of God.  As a leader, I know we don’t always do this perfectly, and there is so much more we can explore. My dream for GRC’s musical styles is to someday be as broad as God’s redemptive nature – to the very ends of the earth!  
  4. Participation of the Body: Friends – this one is near and dear to my heart – TAKE OWNERSHIP IN YOUR CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP OF THE LORD.  Although we (the GRC Worship Team) have a ton of fun up there with our funky jams, we are 100% not a show. We (the Church) are ALL the gathered body of believers, saved by the good grace of God and a testimony to his love. In view of God’s mercy sing out with your heart; don’t let others do the heavy lifting for you! Meditate on truth, on his faithfulness, on his goodness and glory, and let that fill your heart! Maybe the music is too loud or too soft, the song too high or too low, or the lyric slide didn’t switch fast enough, but don’t let that stop you! Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and all of the service “shortcomings” will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.  

Lastly, let me take off my “Worship Director Hat” and come humbly alongside you as a sister-in-the-Lord. 

“Whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus; giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

You know this, but I’ll say it anyway. It isn’t your Sunday service self that God wants…it is your very heart. Your life itself. Oh, beloved brethren, some days I walk contentedly in this trusting obedience, readily giving over all aspects of my life to the Lord. And some days I find myself tearfully apologizing to a family member or friend because I have yet again given into my flesh and sinned against them. This is the hard working out of faith. This is the nitty-gritty ugly stuff of dying-to-self and of sacrifice. Yet, when we trust God for who he is (and what better evidence of his love and faithfulness to us than the Incarnation and Jesus’ death and resurrection), we know that we can offer ourselves as living sacrifices. Everything in our lives becomes subject to his rule, but in the very best way possible. That is what real worship is, I think – seeing God for who he truly is, and responding as such. And when we trust the Lord, when we put one step in front of the other in faithful, loving obedience, not only does that draw us closer to him in dependence and love, but it draws the eye of the watching world to God himself. For our good, for his glory. 

This is my desire: to honor you. Lord, with all my heart, I worship you…Lord, I give you my heart, I give you my soul; I live for you alone. Every step that I take, every moment I’m awake…Lord, have your way with me.”

Erika Bourque serves as the Director of Worship at GRC.