Covenant and Kingdom = Relationship and Responsibility

Five years ago my friend Mike Breen tought me about two dominant themes which run throughout scripture: Covenant and Kingdom. On every page, in every story, in some way we see God making a conscious choice to adopt us into a covenantal relationship with Him through his son Jesus, and then He gives us a responsibility to manifest the Good News of his Kingdom through our lives.

Worship, according to the Bible, is the outworking of covenantal relationship and kingdom responsibility.

If your church is like most in America, you probably sing predominantly on one side of this story, the covenantal side. Read the lyrics on the screen the next time you are singing at church. Most of the content of our songs is about how much we love God, and how much He loves us - and this is an AWESOME thing. We would be hopeless without the love of God!

Still, what’s worth noting is the overwhelming omission of confessions that help us grow more aware of the universal reign of the Kingdom of God. Our music, and therefore our thoughts, mostly dwell on our personal relationship with God. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just not God’s holistic definition of worship. God wants more from our worship than our confessions of love to Him. I’ll be so bold to say worship is not worship to God if it’s only confessions of love to Him. Not by his definition of worship, anyhow.

An old testament passage, Amos 5 tells it like it is:

I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals....I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it." (Message version)

Isaiah 58 isn’t far behind this passage. Look that one up. God means for our song (our love) to match our life. He means for our love to become fruitful justice bearing images of his Kingdom.

I believe an awakening of a kind of apostolic worship is about to explode in America. I realize the jargon I use to describe it might be weird, but I have to use it, nonetheless.

What I mean by apostolic worship is this: worship that sees our personal love for God and justice come together in ways that make sense in our rhythms of life.

What I mean by that is this: We could live our lives inside recognizable American cultural norms in ways which allow us to enjoy what we know as worship in the temple (covenant) while we regularly do justice making mission in the real context of our daily lives (kingdom).

Stay tuned….

Worship Leaders Could Be The Tip Of The Spear


Things are starting to become crystal clear for me, and I think something beautiful is on the horizon.

Through the month of October I’ve been getting with worship leaders to discuss themes of worship and mission - in fact, how biblical worship is defined by God as a people who bring his heart and personality into focus in a foggy world.

Worship leaders have God’s heart on lock. It’s the prophetic nature of their make-up, I think.

They pursue the heart of God, and therefore, seem to be aware of what’s missing, or incomplete. That being true, they are as bound by what “is”, or “has been” as everyone else. Most worship leader’s I’ve been with feel called to their respective cities but they feel tethered the temple they serve in.

Called to the streets whilst bound to the stage.

Here’s the thing, though…I believe the Holy Spirit is unbinding us. God has placed on many worship leaders an apostolic burden, and once they know what to call it, and what to do with it, it will become a powerful weapon against all manner of darkness in our cities.

There’s much more to say, but I’m simply wondering if even the mention of a marriage of worship and mission excites you if you are a worship leader? Does it? If so, I wanna hear from you.

How bout you? The needle in your heart moving? Lemme know.