Free Worship

As I met a few other Christians and started attending their churches I discovered that church could be done in lots of different ways.

Nehemiah 8:1-12

Reference:  v.6  Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!”  They they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. (NIV Bible)

Explore:  I have attended church all my life.  Every Sunday we would don our Sunday-best and head to church.  And if there was a chance of an evening service, we would be there a second time.  For the first 12 years of my life I only remember attending the one church.  But as I met a few other Christians and started attending their churches I discovered that church could be done in lots of different ways.  I had stupidly assumed that everyone’s services were the same as my home church, but there were many differences which brought up many questions for me: Are you allowed to clap in church?  Why do people raise their hands? What age are you allowed to take communion? What is ‘speaking in tongues’?  While this happened at a fairly young age for me I’ve found that many young adults are starting to explore other worship options and looking for something that fits right for them.

Application:  Usually when I think of a Bible passage of praise and worship I would head towards the Psalms.  However, when Ezra reads the Book of Law to the people of the newly built Jerusalem they start to worship freely and without restriction.  We don’t know who started it or why they thought of it, but just the reading of the Law made them stand to their feet, lift up their hands, say ‘Amen!’ and worship the Lord.  It didn’t seem to come from a ritual or a set way of doing things, they just responded from their hearts and worshipped freely.
We can often get so caught up with the ‘right’ way to do worship that we forget that there is no ‘right’ way.  We can worship God in a cafe with a small group of people, we can worship God with a large band in a big auditorium, we can worship God on a dirt patch in a rural village.  The importance is not on how we worship God, all that is important is that we do worship God.

Prayer:  Lord, we can get so caught up with the ‘correct’ way of doing church.  May we just be church, every day giving worship to You. Amen.

What are the different church styles you have experienced?  Which connects with you the most?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.