In 1992, Northfield Publishing released a new book by author Gary Chapman called, The Five Love Languages. The book is aimed at sensitizing married couples to the ‘love languages’ of one another. In the book, Chapman’s five love languages are: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, and Physical Touch. As worship planners and leaders, perhaps these languages and principles are applicable to corporate worship. Consider these simple reminders as you practice the five love languages of the arts in worship this spring.
Acts of Service: Service is one of the main themes of corporate worship. So much so, that most of us refer to our gatherings as “worship SERVICES.” Have you ever stopped to think about that? The worship leaders serve the worshippers, the worshippers serve one another, and we all serve the Lord. Christ modeled this servant-Spirit at the Last Supper when we washed His disciples’ feet. Jesus said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:15 (NIV)
Quality Time: As worship planners, it is so important we practice the love language of “quality time” in worship every time we meet. May we all be detailed in our planning and highly considerate of those who will participate in worship. May our worship services be efficient and packed full of high-quality content. May we direct the hearts of every worshipper to spend quality time with their God in worship. After all, worship at its core, is a meeting with God. May we remain proactive in facilitating a wonderfully rich and fulfilling meeting with God.
Words of Affirmation: How do we practice the love language of “words of affirmation” in corporate worship? We practice this love language through the songs we sing, the prayers we pray, the creeds we cite, the responses we declare, and the scripture we read. As worship planners, we must remain highly sensitive to the “words of worship” spoken in our services. May they be fresh and inspirational. May they be contrite and humble. May they be powerful and demonstrative. May they be festive and joyful. May every word be spoken in gratitude and love.
Gifts: It’s accurate to say that every component of our corporate worship is our “gift” to God. Perhaps that frame of mind is the measure by which we should consider any worship service successful. Did we give today? In worship we give our praises, we give our hearts, we give our confessions, we give our time, we give our tithes and offerings, we give our heart’s affection, we give ourselves wholly to the Lord. As Paul writes in Romans 12, “we are the sacrifice.” It is only from the context of giving that any worshipper can clearly see the function of every element in each corporate worship service. Lord, grant us a giving heart.
Physical Touch: I realize the challenges to practicing the love language of physical touch during a global pandemic. Consequently, we need to refrain from physical touch in corporate worship for a time. In fact, most of us these days are only worshipping corporately through a computer screen, tablet, or cell phone. These things will pass, and we will once again share physical touch in worship: a hug, a handshake, a common cup, a holy kiss. These are all so important as we express ourselves to one another and the God we love.
Editor’s Note: Please enjoy these selections from Hal Leonard/Shawnee Press.