We wish to take this opportunity to welcome you to Door To Hope Church. It may be, the service in which you are about to participate will be different than others you may have attended. You are among a people who believe that “They that worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” We believe that our worship is scriptural worship motivated and directed by the Holy Spirit.
May we make it clear that we do not seek to apologize for our way of worship. We simply thought it might be helpful to you if we explained, from a scriptural standpoint, some of the practices you might observe in this particular service.
Hands Lifted up: The Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:8, “I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.” The lifting up of hands can mean many things. It can be a physical response of heartfelt agreement with a thought in a song or a word spoken. It also expresses our total surrender to God as we worship Him. Whatever it may mean to each individual, the lifting up of our hands is a valid expression of worship so stated in both the Old and New Testaments.
Singing in the Spirit: In scriptural language (1 Corinthians 14:14, 15) the phrase “to sing with the spirit” actually refers to singing spontaneously in what is known as “other tongues”. Singing or speaking in other tongues is the ability, given by God, to an individual to sing or speak in a language not known or understood by the individual. The language could be one of the common languages or it could be either an obscure or totally unknown language.
It is very likely that in this service, you will hear the people spontaneously begin to sing praises to God both in English and in “other tongues”, in what may sound to you almost like chanting. The New Testament, in two places, speaks of three ways of singing our praises to God. (Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16). They are psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. The psalms have been sung in segments of the Church for many years. Hymn-Singing is familiar to most of us. The spiritual song is an individual’s personal expression of worship to God without the aid of words or melody written by someone else. The expression of worship may at first seem to be confusing. Please remember that many things which are unfamiliar may at first seem confusing. Pause just a moment and see that there is a glorious harmony of hearts and voices lifted in true worship of Almighty God.
Clapping of Hands: The clapping of hands is, according to Scripture, another valid way of worshiping (Psalm 47:1). All will agree also that clapping hands is a universal expression of joy. You will have already discovered that you are among people who find real joy in worshiping God.. Certainly, if there is any valid reason for joy, it is found in the privilege of coming into the presence of the living God and worshiping Him with our whole hearts.
Tongues, Interpretation, and Prophecy: We previously mentioned the use of speaking in other tongues in “singing in the spirit”. It is also possible that in this service you may hear someone speak in tongues in a manner that gains the attention of the entire congregation. When this happens, generally, the congregation will wait until the interpretation is given in English of what the speaker in tongues has said. The Scripture tells us that when tongues are used in this manner in a public service there should always be an interpretation in the known language.
It is also possible that the attention of the congregation will be given to someone who spontaneously delivers a message in English without being preceded by someone speaking in tongues. This is the scriptural gift of prophecy in operation (1 Corinthians 14). All three of these expressions-tongues, interpretations, and prophecy are proper and in order in a worship service directed by the Holy Spirit.
Dancing Before the Lord: Just as singing, praying and clapping of hands are true expressions of worship, so is dancing before the Lord. Dancing also is an act of rejoicing in God’s presence. David rejoiced before the Lord in the dance (2 Samuel 6:14). Though men despised him for doing it, God approved and accepted it as true worship. Psalm 150:4 clearly instructs us to “praise Him with the timbrel and dance.” Acts 3 records an incident where a lame man, when healed by the power of Christ, ran into the Temple leaping and praising God.