Encountering the Church in Worship

This is a great point from Zac Hicks:

Many distill the essence of corporate worship as “encounter with God.” That’s a great summary. When we gather, God chooses to reveal Himself in special ways and through special means, many of which He reserves ordinarily only for that context. But have we ever thought about the fact that, in worship, we not only encounter God but encounter the Church? God and the Church are not the same (although, one could rightly argue, based on the reality of our union with Christ, that there is more overlap than we are sometimes comfortable to admit).  Encountering God is an unparalleled event.  Period.  Still, is there some sense in which our encounter with the Church should blow our minds and inspire awe in us, too? In worship, is there a sense in which we’ve not only experienced God but experienced the Church?

Too often corporate worship becomes and individual “experience” with God, but corporate worship should be, well, corporate! As I say in my book:

Because the purpose of congregational worship is that believers join together as the body of Christ to express a unified response to God, music that is individualistic or personal does not have a place in congregational worship. That kind of music may be appropriate for one’s individual enjoyment or worship,but not for the congregation as a whole. Certain songs may express experiences or promises that are not applicable to every believer. Music used in congregational worship, however,should be limited to songs that express substantive truth that applies to all Christians.

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