In Exodus 35 we see one of the most helpful summary passages in Scripture that reveals a description and role of the artistic specialist in the life of the believing community. This Old Testament passage highlights the role of the artistic expression specialist in the generally and worship-life of the believing community. It also provides critical instructional details that are specifically applied to specialized servants of God that were “filled with the Holy Spirit” and given “the ability to teach others”
It is important for those who are discipling worship leaders to realize that those being discipled should evidence the character of Christ in their daily walk. It is seen in how the artist interacts with others, develops relationships, and partners with other musicians in genuine ministry. In fact, demonstrating the character of Christ is the ultimate goal of discipleship; and the ultimate indicator of whether or not discipleship has truly happened.
Discipling is the process of intentionally investing your life in the lives of others on God’s behalf. This definition specifically comes out of two key NT passages related to the term disciple, one spoken by Jesus and the other written by the apostle Paul. In Matthew 28:18–20, . . . Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Hebrew concept of imagination includes two dynamic applications: 1) with regard to the human capacity to invent or make something, imagination is ‘the capacity to see what could be but is not yet.’ An example of this human capacity is Jer. 18:4, “But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” And, 2) with regard to the human capacity to interact with transcendence, imagination is ’the capacity to see through what is known into the realities beyond what is known.
The first area of expertise for the “artist” involves craftsmanship. The term craftsman seems the best biblical expression for what people today think of as an artist. Certainly there are numbers of different kinds of crafts, industries, and trades noted in the Scripture. There are at least nineteen different artistic crafts mentioned in the Bible. But craftsman seems to be one of those wide-ranging terms, a class term, that serves as an umbrella under which exist many more specific craft areas. Craftsman is very similar to two other wide-ranging, umbrella class terms: one being musician, where there certainly exist more specific kinds of musicians—for example harp players, flute players, trumpet (shofar) players, and cymbal players—each having a technical name. The other class term is singers. The term craftsman means “someone unusually wise at imaginative design and expression.”
Biblical worship involves two essential elements: First, worship must be done with reverence. This is a reverence-based approach toward God. Worship is inward God-directed Expressions of the Heart. When God encounters people, the first human worship response one sees Scripture reveal is that people bow in reverence in some way.
The essence of worship is in finding satisfaction in God. Both the Old and New Testaments clearly confirms the essence of worship to be a life centered in and focused on finding one’s greatest satisfaction in God alone, beyond any “thing” or any “one” else. It is a thoroughly personal endeavor. While people may attempt to categorize worship as public or personal (corporate or private), all worship is personal worship. Musicians may lead a congregation in corporate praise but, that which goes on in the heart – communication between God and man – can only be experienced personally. And, every person’s worship experience is different. This is because worship is experienced in the inner heart. The Psalmist of Israel re-enforces this notion:
Worship leaders should clearly note that New Testament Worship is initiated through the will of the Father, the work of the Son, and the agency of the Spirit. It is the Triune God who energizes the human (and human community of worshipers) to worship. He enables worship through the power His Spirit, through the work of Christ. He receives that worship. He is glorified by that worship. He is the beginning, the means, the object, and the end of all true worship. As Paul writes, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Let it be!” (Ro 11:36-12:1). True worship is sourced, energized and culminated in the Triune-God revealed through Jesus Christ and the Holy Christian Scriptures.
If worship is to be central in all Church life and focus, then the question, “Who is God” must also be addressed. Four major theological realities must be articulated: 1) God is supreme, 2) God is creator, 3) God is holy, and God is hesed-love.