In every task of the church, the ministry of the Word of God is central. It is the Word that calls us to worship, addresses us in worship, teaches us how to worship and enables us to praise God and to encourage one another. By the Word we are given life and nurtured to maturity in Christ: the Word is the sword of the Spirit to correct us and the bread of the Spirit to feed us. In the mission of the church, it is the Word of God that calls the nations to the Lord: in the teaching of the Word we make disciples of the nations. The growth of the church is the growth of the Word (Acts 6:7; 12:24; 19:20): where there is a famine of the Word, no expertise in business administration or group dynamics will build Christ’s church.
—Edmund P. Clowney, The Church, 199
The content of public worship is of immense importance. P. T. Forsyth said, “The preacher is not there to astonish people with the unheard of, he is there to revive them in what they have long heard.” What is so for preaching . . . is also true for the context in which preaching takes place. Every element of the public worship of the people of God must communicate the true content of the faith, which finds its focus on the person and work of Jesus the Messiah.
–Noel Due, Created for Worship, 235
“Right belief’”about God is intimately connected to “right worship” because believing right things about God is an essential component in honouring God appropriately. This is why Christians speak of right belief about God as “orthodoxy,” which means “right glory.” If we are to give God the glory He deserves, we need to think and speak rightly about God
–Robin Parry, Worshiping Trinity: Coming Back to the Heart of Worship, 8
All devotion, all attention should be concentrated upon the Word in the hymn. . . . [We] do not
hum a melody; we sing words of praise to God, words of thanksgiving, confession and prayer.
Thus the music is completely the servant of the Word.
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, 43
If we really believe, as we profess, that scripture is central to the Christian life, then it ought also to be central in our worship life. That Sunday bulletin is an important statement of faith. If the bulletin makes it clear that scripture is an important part of Christian worship, then we can be sure people will get the message that the Bible is crucial in shaping their lives as Christians. But, when the role of scripture in worship is negligible, when scripture is used only to launch a sermon, what is communicated is that the Bible is marginal in Christian life, too.
–James F. White, “Making Our Worship More Biblical,” Perkins Journal 34 (Fall 1980): 38
The Bible reads me.
–Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008), 130.