Brandon Cox on 4 Reasons Modern Worship Services Should Engage the Emotions

I hear it all the time and it’s blogged about regularly… Modern worship songs and services are just too much emotionalism and not enough doctrine.

Long ago, I wrote a blog post to that very effect about modern worship. I revisited the issue a few years ago and deleted that old post. Now I’m going a step further to make a rather bold and potentially unpopular assertion.

Churches, on the whole, should be infusing more emotional engagement into their worship services and not less. Modern worship would benefit from approaching worship this way.

I completely understand the argument that human emotions are fickle and unreliable. I don’t disagree. I also understand that we face a famine of biblical literacy and need more biblical and theological content in our modern worship and preaching.

But I’m not convinced that we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. Here are five reasons why…

1. God moves people to change through their emotions.

My wife, a very wise therapist, often reminds me that “People don’t change because they know better. They change when they feel pain or experience pleasure.” It’s basic psychology and reflects the way God has wired our brains.

As Maya Angelou famously said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

2. We overcome apathy on an emotional level.

Human emotions aren’t terribly reliable. Our mood often changes several times during the day. We’re all a little sadder with less sunlight, or when our blood sugar is low, or when we’re in a crowded room. Feelings aren’t a reliable source of truth, therefore faith should be connected to facts, not feelings.

I agree with all of that. But I also know that one of the biggest problems facing the church in my cultural surroundings is apathy. It’s a coldness and complacency that leaves our faith lying dormant rather than heated up and ready to serve.

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Source: Church Leaders