Perhaps the question to ask is whether we actually expect God to speak. If we wish to invite worshipers into that expectation, then the opening words of the service are especially important. A blessing and invitation from God, in the words of Scripture, set the expectation that God is already speaking in this place, today. This prepares worshipers to hear God in any element of the service, even those not specifically thought of as God’s Word to us.
—Debra and Ron Rienstra, Worship Words: Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry, 48
The beauty and effectiveness of a well-crafted liturgy will always lie in the allegiance to the Word. Just as the arts are servants of the liturgy, so is the liturgy a servant of the Word.
—Harold M. Best, Unceasing Worship, 72
As worship leaders . . . we also have the holy task of being stewards of God’s Word. Our choices of Scripture and themes for worship represent a degree of control over people’s spiritual diets, over how they feed on the bread of life.
—John Witvliet, Worship Seeking Understanding, 282
The first business of the Church at all times is to be attentive to the Word of God.
—William Nicholls, Jacob’s Ladder: The Meaning of Worship, 39
Word must always precede, and also create, sacrament and praise, confession and blessing.
—Paul F. M. Zahl, “Formal-Liturgical Worship,” in Exploring the Worship Spectrum: 6 Views, 34
As much as I love music . . . we have placed far too much faith in it and not nearly enough in the power of the Word, the authority and sweep of fearless prophecy and earnest, yet hope-filled, intercessory prayer. I have often wondered what would happen if we got music out of the way, especially in its upfront dress, and spent abundant time in interceding prayer, reading and searching the Scriptures, sitting in silence, prophesying and perhaps only then singing and making music.
—Harold M. Best, Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts, 140
“Man is what he eats” was Feuerbach’s aphorism. By feeding on the word of God, the believer is changed according to God’s character.
—Geoffrey Wainwright, Doxology: The Praise of God in Worship, Doctrine and Life, 18