The 5 Senses In Worship

Psalm 24:9 states “The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.” I love this verse! The voice of the LORD is so incredibly powerful. With it He created the heavens and the earth and all things in them; with His voice, He calmed the stormy sea and nature obeyed.

All throughout scripture you see “the voice of the Lord”:

…”strikes with flashes of lightening” – (psalm 29:7)
…”twists the oaks and strips the forests bare” – (psalm 29:9)
…”shakes the desert” – (psalm 29:8)
…”will shatter Assyria” – (Isaiah 30:31)
…”Let us not hear [it]…or we will die.” – (Deuteronomy 18:16)
…”is over the waters” – (psalm 29:3)
…”is powerful…is majestic” – (psalm 29:4)
…”speaking out of the fire” – (Deuteronomy 4:33)
…”thunders in marvelous ways” – (job 37:5)
…”all who hear will live” – (John 5:25)

And the list goes on. These are just a few verses talking about the “voice” or auditory sense of God; this doesn’t even begin to cover the other sensory parts of God that He uses.

What is amazing to me is how every part of God’s very being is hemmed full of glory, power, might, love, justice, strength, mercy, compassion, jealousy, provision, and so forth. This displays to us on a larger scale the incredible God we serve. No man could ever concoct or create such a concept as our God. And Praise God that God is into God so much that He has revealed Himself to us in so many ways! This is why we do what we do by using all the aspects of music, media, preaching, fellowship, lighting, etc. in our worship service to reach out and connect people with God using the tools that reach the senses.

To hug, shake hands, kiss babies, etc. in fellowship is touch, just as He touches our lives. Our visual aids of lighting, power point, notes, etc. are a visual sensor being used. The music and teaching are auditory means; we use candles and scents to connect smell to our experience. And taste? how about the communion elements?! “Taste and see that the Lord is Good.” “I am the Bread of Life…” As creatures created in the image of God, we are gifted with a few senses that we can and should use to connect with God at any chance. Even in the 2nd church ordinance of holy communion Jesus didn’t instruct us to go through some precarious motion on a random mountaintop somewhere, He used two elements that would be found in any home with easy access. This is the amazing dichotomy between the awe and splendor of God and His relatable means to which he shows us His amazing love.

It is common in modern churches today to focus on the means of triggering sense to reach an end of “attracting people” into church. Rather, I would argue that we use these means to create an atmosphere that people can connect with God in as many ways as He gave us possible to do so. This is what we would call using the 5 senses in worship.

Ryan Cook
Music & Media Pastor
Desert Breeze Community Church


Tools for Worship - from YouthMinistry.com

Author: Ryan Cook

Ryan is the Music & Media Pastor at Desert Breeze Community Church in Phoenix Arizona.

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  1. Five-Step Small Group Worship
    By Steve Baney

    When we gather for congregational worship, we usually spend most of our time staring at the backs of the heads of the people sitting in front of us. Singing this way feels safer, because it seems like no one is looking at us while we sing. But in a small group, we often face each other. Something changes when we’re invited to worship in a small group setting. Suddenly our safe, intimate time with our God becomes a spotlight on our off-key, sour-pitch performance.

    When the environment of worship changes, our style of worship should change with it. Here’s my five-step reflection on leading small group worship in a way that minimizes the awkward “Don’t look at me” syndrome.

    1. Choose to either (a) sing something familiar, or (b) provide lyrics of something familiar. Notice, in both instances, the songs selected are familiar to the group. Learning new music is awkward. And that queezy feeling multiplies when we’re in a small group setting. If I introduce new music to a small group, I try to keep it simple, make it short, and if at all possible, sing with an echo (I sing a line, then you repeat).

    Read the next four steps on the TIPS page at http://www.ShapingWorship.com

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