Worshiping With Excellence by Marilyn Bills
There are six principles that guide the Worship Arts ministries at HOPE: Creativity; Intentionality; Excellence; Authenticity; Community; Well-ordered hearts and lives. The one that is the most misunderstood is Excellence.
The word excellence has gotten a bad rap lately, especially in the contemporary church movement. Perfection, overly produced, snobbish are just some of the ways that this value has been mis-defined. Excellence is simply doing the best we can with what we have right now. As people resources change and develop, what we define as excellence, also changes.
A couple of years ago I was spending some time in the Old Testament. I was struck by how many times in first and second Chronicles the artists were specifically named and selected to perform their duty for worship experiences. In 2 Chronicles 5:12, the Ark is being brought into the newly completed Temple. Musicians playing cymbals, harps and lyres (guitars), trumpets and other instruments along with singers lead the worship. If electricity existed back then I am confident that synthesizers and electric guitars would have been on the list, too. 1Chronicles 15 we see the account of the Ark being brought into Jerusalem. David gives very specific instructions on how the Ark is to be carried and who will be participating in leading the worship experience. Starting around verse 19 the musicians are listed again by name along with the instrument they will be playing. What is interesting is verse 22,“Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it.” Kenaniah is in charge of the singing, not because he was the only one available, not because he liked the attention, not because he was doing someone a favor; he was in charge of the singing because he was SKILLFUL at his art.
From the earliest writings that we have about the importance and structure of corporate worship, excellence has been held as a virtue.It is out of devotion to a perfect, Creator God and Savior that HOPE’s worship artists strive to give their best in artistic worship leadership.
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