Have It God’s Way This Christmas!

John Parker
A native of Louisiana, John Parker holds the BM in Vocal Performance from Louisiana College and the MM in Choral Conducting from Northwestern State University. Composing primarily for church and school choirs, John’s 600+ choral works are published by numerous state-side companies. Active as a choral clinician and lecturer, Mr. Parker is author of How to Start a Fine Arts Academy in Your Church and numerous drama collections. John and his family make their home in Austin, TX where John has served as Associate Pastor of Worship & Music at Austin Baptist Church since 2014.

The famous “Have it Your Way” campaign ran for Burger King for forty years, informing its customers that their burger could be ordered any way they like and BK would prepare it for them. I can still hear the 1974 version of the theme song rolling around in my head. Maybe you can too?

Special order burgers at fast food restaurants are great, but the “Have it Your Way” mentality doesn’t transfer very well to corporate worship. We all have our various “tastes” when it comes to corporate worship, right? The challenge is for each worshipper to set aside these personal preferences to focus on the “Have it God’s Way” approach. I wonder how often in corporate worship we pause to think about whether or not our worship is pleasing to God? Does He like the music? Does He like the sermon? Does He like our prayers and fellowship?

What then IS God’s way in worship? What does He want from us? Here are a few things the Bible tells us God is looking for from His people in worship:

1) Brokenness Psalm 51:17
2) Confession Psalm 66:18
3) Thanksgiving & Praise Psalm 100:4
4) Humility Micah 6:6-8
5) Spirit & Truth John 4:24
6) Joy Psalm 92:4

Do you notice what’s missing from this list? How to preach a sermon … what music to incorporate … when to stand or sit … etc. Apparently those things do not particularly interest God when it comes to His people gathering for worship. The above list is certainly not exhaustive, but is a good start toward making sure God has it HIS way in and through us in corporate worship this Christmas season. And when God has His way in worship, we find great joy, contentment, love and peace in that place deep within, only God can satisfy.

John Parker

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