HOW WE DEFINE WORSHIP AT CRESTMONT
God is our powerful Creator, loving Father, and compassionate Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and coming King. God does for us all that is ultimately best, right, and good. God says to us everything we need to know through His holy Word, His indwelling Spirit, and His marvelous Creation. Our only valid response to Him for all He is, does, and says is a lifetime of loving celebration and service in all we are, do, and say. We call this response our worship.
HOW WE DESCRIBE WORSHIP AT CRESTMONT
Worship is a seamless blend of intimacy in God’s presence and activity in His service. Worship is more than inspirational singing, praying, and preaching on Sunday. Our loving response to God is a life-encompassing, 24/7 endeavor. In addition to our worship celebrations, we praise and honor God by living out our faith through the week in our relationships, our responsibilities, our leisure activities, and even our difficulties. Intimacy with God in church on Sunday energizes and equips us for selfless service to God outside the church wherever we go.
We worship God personally as individuals and corporately as a congregation. As individuals worshiping God alone, we are free to do so we please. Kneel in reverent silence, stand and shout praises, sing and dance — it’s an individual’s choice. But when believers come together as a congregation, worship is about responding to God in an orderly fashion with one heart and voice. To do so, we must set aside our personal worship preferences and follow the lead of those who direct our church worship.
In worship we bow to God as our King and rejoice in Him as our Father. There are two general, overlapping worship “postures” in the Bible. One is downward, pictured by bowing, kneeling, lying prostrate, silence, etc. These postures reflect our attitude of reverence and submission to God our King. The other posture is upward: stand; lift hands, heart, and voice; sing, dance, shout; make a joyful noise. Such postures picture the joy and celebration we bring to God our heavenly Father. Both postures, and others in between, are valid means to express our worship to God.
Worship involves everything about us: our thoughts, feelings, choices, and behavior. The Bible commands us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength — meaning that our worship involves everything we are and do, both as individuals and as a body of believers. Our response to God need not bypass our intellect, emotions, will, or actions, nor should we allow any of these areas to monopolize our expression. We may be at the same time thoughtful, emotional, purposeful, and participative in our worship within the circle of our personality and comfort level as well as our congregation’s guidelines and traditions.
Church worship expressions are grounded in Scripture while reflecting regional culture. The Word of God provides foundational principles for corporate worship while allowing plenty of room for different of expressions of worship. For example, we are instructed to meet together for worship, but we are free to decide where to do so (a chapel, a cathedral, a warehouse, etc.), what style of music and instruments to use, how long the meeting lasts, and so on. Worship liturgy may also freely include traditional and contemporary expressions and embrace the ethnic diversity of the region.