When I discuss worship with students around campus, they typically tell me about guitar riffs, drum beats, and vocal harmonies. They talk to me about music; they equate music with worship. While music is an important and necessary avenue (Ephesians 5:19), worship is much deeper and broader than that.
Romans 12:1 provides the basis for how we view worship in Biola chapels: by the mercies of God…present your bodies as a living sacrifice…which is your spiritual worship (ESV). We don’t simply present our instruments and voices, but our whole bodies/selves as worship. We don’t worship to fix ourselves or be more acceptable, but to boldly present ourselves to God because we are already accepted through His mercies. Worship is not merely adoration we offer God, proclamations of His greatness, or recollections of His truths (though these are important). Romans 12:1 tells us that at its core, worship is about saying: Here we are, God; we want to be in conversation with You. Worship, like its cousin prayer, is a readiness to commune with God from an honest heart, and follow where that leads.
So, practically, we train our chapel worship leaders to supplement carefully-selected songs with Bible readings, reflection questions, guided prayers, moments of silence – anything to help us stand transparently before God, listening and responding to his loving work in our lives. We remind our leaders that they’re not singalong directors or concert performers, but worship pastors who guide deeply spiritual and relational conversations with God. We train them to focus on leading hearts not just voices, thereby creating intentional journeys that don’t simply elicit outward expressions of praise, but deep prayers that form the soul.
While we train our students to view worship as communion and conversation with God, we also broaden their vision of what musical worship can sound like. In the campus discussions I have about worship (see first sentence above), the worship music most students initially think of is an Evangelical pop-rock genre of music. But this is a small slice of the various expressions around the globe. Thus, we work to diversify our chapel music so that our boundaries are broadened by the global Church. We’ve brought in bluegrass and folk, electronica and hip hop, a cappella and classical, jazz and gospel. We’ve had instruments-only chapels so that the audience would become the lead vocalist. We’ve sung in Spanish, Mandarin, Swahili, and other languages. We’ve used ethnic instruments like the Indonesian angklung, utilized spoken word and other poetry, experimented with laments and other Psalmic prayers, and developed hula and African dance as worship.
Ultimately, my hope is that, when students leave each chapel service, their first thought won’t be an evaluation of the band’s musicality. The question would be: What is God doing in my heart, and how can I cooperate with Him?
Director of Worship & Formation
Again this year the Center for Christianity, Culture & the Arts is providing a free online Adent Devotional. Starting November 30th, you can join the Biola community in preparing your heart for the wonder of Christmas during the season of Advent. You can sign up to receive a daily email in your inbox with the devotion. New posts will be shared starting Sunday, November 30th.
Many students are going into survival mode to finish up the semester. Imagine them receiving a gift from home during this exhaustive time, to help them through their week. With your generous, tax-deductible gift to Christian Formation & Ministry, we have the opportunity to deliver “Survival Sacks” to your son/daughter’s residence hall room the weekend before final exams begin. This Survival Sack will contain a plentiful assortment of fresh fruit, popcorn, sugarless gum, granola bars and various snacks and candy. Your personal note of encouragement will be attached.
This service to parents and students is the primary way we raise support for our ministry efforts. It helps us in developing your students as ministers through our discipleship and outreach ministries. It also helps support our mission teams, both locally and abroad. Our mission is to equip and accompany students in their formation as disciples of Christ and Spirit-filled ministers of the gospel.
You can encourage and bless your son or daughter during this intensive time of finals week and have a part in fulfilling this important vision through participating in our Survival Sack project. The packages and encouragement notes will be delivered on Friday, December 12th. We would love to hear from you before Wednesday, December 10th.
Parents, to by credit card, please call 562-903-4754. Have your message to your student(s) ready, and we will include on a personal card for them.
The "Be Cash Smart" Grand Finale will be on Wednesday, December 3, from 11:30 — 1:30. Students who have participated in the "Be Cash Smart" game this fall can visit our table near the Bell Tower during this time for goodies and to see if they are one of the four Grand Finale Prize Winners of $100 cash!!!
We will also have information about starting dates for the Spring Semester Be Cash Smart game. So even if your student did not participate this fall, encourage them to stop by the table for some goodies and to learn about what we will be doing next semester.
Join President Corey, his wife Paula, Professor Ken Way, and pastor Mike Erre from EV Fullerton Church for a tour in Israel April 15-27! See the Bible come alive as you walk where Jesus walked and connect the dots of how stories you’ve read connect to your faith today. The trip is open to anyone and spots are filling up quickly so reserve yours today! Check out now.biola.edu/israel2015 for more information!
"Let It Snow" Care Package.....
$45.00 Includes tax and delivery
The "Let it Snow" Care Package is fun, festive, and delicious! It's a perfect way for your student to welcome the holiday season!
This brightly colored care package includes the following contents: "Let it Snow" Decorative Plaque, a Christmas Ornament Photo Holder, Snowman Headband, Bottle of Hot Cocoa Mix, Mini Snowball Marshmallows, White Chocolate Spoons, Powdered Snowball Donuts, Jolly Jellybeans, Snowman Sucker, Gumballs, White Chocolate Sugar Cookies and Custom Greeting Card with Personalized Message from Home.
Be sure to check our website for more holiday care packages coming soon!
Limited Quantities- Please order EARLY for best selection.
ORDER DEADLINE-DECEMBER 10th