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Worship Like Ants

• Greg Boyd

Praise and celebration are foundational and essential to being God’s people. However, many Christians today are missing out on the importance of doing this together. We emphasize information, but we often don’t see the power of encountering God and the impact that it can have on our lives.

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When we come together as a people with a common Lord, a common faith and common aspiration and when we focus our minds to praise and celebrate the goodness of God, things can happen that otherwise would never happen. Praise is singing to God while celebration is declaring truth about God. It’s good to do these alone, but there’s a unique experience we can have while doing these with others, whether in small group or larger, weekend group. In the case of praise and celebration, the principle of unity is far greater, for God has promised to show up in a unique way when his people come together.

Over the last 30 years worship has become more of a concert, but people are getting bored with that, so churches are increasingly shortening their worship time, some dropping it all together. This is also why many feel there’s no loss if they stop going to church and just download the sermon at home. There is an important dimension of the kingdom missing when your not regularly coming into God’s presence by worshiping him with others. Worshiping on your own is great, but the relational God designed everything to work best when done with others.

We tend to put an undue amount of importance on information. Hence, we think the sermon is most important and maybe the only important part of the service but information alone never transforms us. People can know a ton and not have it impact their lives. Only when transformation makes its way to the heart of an individual does it make a difference.

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Topics: Community, Presence of God, Worship


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Focus Scripture:

  • Psalms 100:2

    Worship the LORD with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.

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11 thoughts on “Worship Like Ants

    Jane Collins says: Monday October 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Yes, I think that we all are suffering from back deck syndrome. We come home, go sit on the back deck, eat our own food, and never share a thing with our neighbors, including food, song, stories etc…. When I grew up (in the 70’s) we actually visited an elderly couple (at least weekly) and did all three, pray before the meal, ate together & sang songs around the piano later in the evening. I think what we need are more front porches, and less game & phone apps/machines. And an appreciation for what our others add to our lives, whoever they may be. Amen!

    Reply
    Teresa says: Monday October 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Amen! … a vital message for the church today.

    Praise God! He’s still speaking.

    Reply
    Robert Button says: Monday October 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Again, another message that’s “right on the money”. As a relatively “new” Christian I really appreciate Pastor Greg’s insights. I am many miles from WH church, but have had the pleasure of attending once while on a trip. I am so grateful for the praise and worship that we do at our church in Dryden, Ontario; often a half hour or 45 minutes of praise and thanksgiving to our wonderful Jesus. Why I seem to get as much healing, understanding, and desire for growth from this portion of the service makes so much sense. Thank you, Pastor Greg, and all of you at Woodland Hills!

    Reply
    Carol Williams says: Tuesday October 12, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I remember a place called Shakey’s pizza, they didn’t have the banjo player at the location where I lived. I remember Mitch Miller and the bouncing ball. I remember many musical times with family…the family was dysfunctional, families are by degrees….hmmm, yet the music is a good memory…yes, singing, singing, singing. Still today so many words trigger a song in my heart and sometimes out of my mouth…and more often a song of Praise to our Savior:) Thanks for the reminder to sing together as so many times outside of church…in groups of fellow believers…I have an unction to sing…yet I generally squelch it…fear of man? ya, sometimes…discernment more so…as I am maturing…is it flesh or is it spirit…perhaps a little of both…but our Father is faithful to work things out for His glory as I glory in Him…as we Glorify Him! Hallelujah<3

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    Dr Anabella Hoppe says: Tuesday October 12, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I give thanks to God for WH Church and the authority that Dr Boyd has in Christ. What a wonderful spiritual coverage for the congregation. Since I moved to Florida (2001) I miss worshiping our Lord in a church where HE is the center of all so I became a podrishioner of WH…..Could you include the worshiping time in the videos? We all need it.

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    Lindy Combs says: Thursday October 14, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Wow! I shall arrive at my own church services earlier, (as a in podrishoner (Whidbey Island, Puget Sound in WA) rather than a bit late, DURING worship/singing. Greg is exactly as gifted as the messages need to be said. I love it.

    ONE THING THOUGH: I was soooo disappointed that the worship following the message was not on the video! I attended Woodland Hills for a year; it would have been easy to picture myself THERE sharing in that glory!

    Reply
    Charley Swanson says: Thursday October 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Hi guys — we get frequent requests to include worship on our sermon files, but unfortunately we don’t have the ability right now to pay for the licensing that would require.

    Most folks don’t realize it, but churches pay royalty fees to Christian musicians to use their songs in worship services and whenever they make recordings. We happily do so, since these artists would likely not be compensated for their work otherwise, but we can’t afford the extra cost that we’d have if we were to make recordings of those songs available for download/streaming.

    (If you’re interested, you can find a few worship CDs that our music ministry has recorded here: https://whchurch.org/sermons-media/purchase-media)

    Great question though!

    Reply
    Michelle Miller says: Sunday October 17, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Herd mentality is the norm. Parasites feed off each other. What is the genuine message, with no agenda?

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    Nicole says: Sunday October 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Maybe we should pray for a benefactor who would be willing to cover the costs of sharing the music worship online…. just an idea. God bless! I listen to Greg almost every day – the older sermons. I am astounded to hear a preacher voicing my own beliefs that I used to think were so un-churchly. I’ve heard only a couple of things from him that I would be interested in discussing with him, not that I wouldn’t be interested in discussing many things with him, just that I would have a difference of opinion on a couple of topics. There, I think that fixed it.

    Reply
    Nicole says: Sunday October 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    To Carol Williams: I think you should just sing whenever you have a mind to. I do that ALL THE TIME! I have a little iPod Shuffle with lots of Christian music on it and I’m usually singing along with it. I used public transportation to get around and spend my time at bus stops singing with the iPod. I walked into a lab one day to get some blood work done and was singing along with the guy who does the new version of Amazing Grace (I think his name is Chris something), and a woman sitting in the waiting area looked up and smiled as I sang along and I knew she was a Christian. You just never know when you’re going to bless someone with your song. Yeah! Rock n roll is the best.

    Reply

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