Competition in Worship?!?

Some time ago, I was looking around at some different resources for dance in the Christian worship service. I came across a website for a worship dance competition. Being a gymnast, I like competition, so my first thought was, “Fun!” But then I stopped for a moment and thought about the obvious problem — competition and worship simply don’t go together! If we are truly worshiping, then our hearts are focused on the Lord, not ourselves. When in a competition, the focus is on myself or my team and what we need to do. Granted, we can submit the competition to the Lord through prayer. We can do the competition with excellence (which comes mostly from time and hard work prior to the competition). And we can compete with attitudes that glorify God regardless of the circumstances. I do believe that athletes can compete to the glory of God, but the entire purpose of a worship dance is to draw people to worship. This, too can happen in a competitive setting, but that has to be our goal — not winning the competition. Typically, when one enters a competition, it is for the purpose of attempting to win, not drawing people to worship. So I think that the two do not go together!

It was many months ago that I ran across the site mentioned above. But today the issue came back to mind when I received an email from a company that publishes praise and worship materials. This must include some marketing in order for people to hear and use the songs, so to some extent I understand some worldly tactics. Usually their emails are informative and include some free materials. Today was different. It was a simple email. It was a listing. A listing of the top ten worship songs of 2010. Again, I didn’t think much at first. My current favorite song was number one, so my first thought was something like, “Look everyone agrees with me!” When I stepped back, a similar thought as above surfaced. These songs were written to draw people to worship. If they do that, then they have achieved their purpose! Why are we ranking them? And just as Our God is my current favorite because it speaks to things that God is doing in my life, songs that are lower on the list or aren’t on that list at all, will draw me to worship God because I will hear them in a time when God is working in that particular area of my life. God has called us to be different from the world. Why do we do such worldly things as rank art which was made for God’s glory according to man’s judgment?

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One thought on “Competition in Worship?!?

  1. Amen, Kimm. Great insights. I have been SO drawn to worship through the dance ministry you and the others have been using to lead us into worship. Praise God that you have discernment not to allow yourself to be drawn down the (too easily found) path of self-focus and competition.

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