4 Principles to Engage Your Congregation in Worship - Jeff Deyo


What Is Worship? – Jeff Deyo

What’s in this Episode?

In this episode of the Church Tips Podcast, Jeff Deyo (former lead singer of Sonicflood) and Dick Hardy begin the conversation on living a lifestyle of Worship.

Show Notes:

Be notified when the Worship Leadership Track by Jeff Deyo is live!

The Pastors Guide to Navigating Generational and Cultural Worship Gaps
The Worship Pastors Guide to Honoring The Lead Pastor

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Read the Transcript

Dick Hardy 0:06
Hey friend, it’s great to be with you on the Church Tips Podcast. And we are with a guy who’s probably become pretty familiar to you, Jeff Deyo, who’s a professor of worship up at North Central University in Minneapolis. And one of his big claims to fame is he’s a former lead singer of Sonicflood, the Grammy nominated, Dove Award winning group from back in the day. And we are just thrilled to be able to have partnered with Jeff, in the release of the new Worship Leadership Track. Jeff, say hi to the group today.

Jeff Deyo 0:38
Man, Dick, I’m so pumped. I mean, I gotta be honest, like, if you’re watching this right now, you better buckle your seat belts, because I am pumped up. I’m excited. I believe that God is with us. And we’re going to be sharing some things today that are going to touch your life and encourage you.

Dick Hardy 0:53
I want to tell you, Jonathan came up and joined Jeff and I for a time of prayer right before we started this podcast. And so yeah, he’s absolutely right. We really believe the Lord has some great things in store for us. And so we’re gonna, we’re gonna jump into the whole the general topic, but we’re gonna go drill in on what is worship.

Dick Hardy 1:13
But before we do, I just want to remind everyone that we are now live with the Worship Leadership Track. We opened it up last Thursday, and had phenomenal response. And you need to click the link here in the show notes and jump over, take a look at the Worship Leadership Track inside Church University. This is going to help you as a lead pastor, it’s going to help you as a worship leader, really take your worship to the next level as the Lord continues to guide you.

Dick Hardy 1:46
So, Jeff was the presenter throughout the whole course and we’re pumped. So anyway, let’s jump right into the subject. We want Jeff to be able to just answer your questions, we sent emails out asking for your questions. And we’ve got a boatload of them here over the next few days. And we’re going to just start with him today. And this first one is, The true heart of worship is focused on and responding to what? Jeff, take it away.

Jeff Deyo 2:15
Man, I mean, you know, I love the fact that we have kind of asked questions, we’ve got people engaged. And look, this isn’t us just going, Hey we’ve got all the answers. You know? We have done study, I have just scoured the Bible and like, life experience here, Holy Spirit direction, all those things, but this is really a collaboration. It’s a collaboration with me, and Dick, and Church University and Leaders.Church, all that stuff. It’s also a collaboration with you, because you are out there, you’re doing this as well, and God has been speaking to you.

Jeff Deyo 2:48
So, part of this is so good because you’re asking questions. Sometimes when you’re asking the questions, you actually know the answers too, so you’re kind of baiting us into this saying, Hey, what is worship to you, I’m kind of checking out is this course really, really, you know, from the Lord? Is it really have the answers that we’re looking for? And that type of thing, right? So when I define worship, I want to define it in a Biblical sense.

Do you wonder how to get all ages to enjoy the worship music and hymns in your church? Download the free guide pastors can use to navigate varying worship music preferences and help your congregation grow together.

Navigating Generational and cultural Worship Gaps free PDF for Pastors

Jeff Deyo 3:12
We understand that, you know, worship is more than just music, right? That’s one of the most foundational things, but we’ve all got to agree on that. And I do think there is a misunderstanding on this point, because there’s a lot of folks. And I’ve even been challenged to shift the way that I speak about worship. I will now say, when we come into a service, instead of saying, hey, let’s worship the Lord, I might say something like, Hey, let’s spend some time in musical worship.

Jeff Deyo 3:42
Because we understand that worship is not just music, it’s not just those 15 minutes or 30 minutes or 45 minutes before the sermon, right? It’s not just the time of singing, but nor is it not that time, right? Because worship can be musical. And it is a part biblically of what we do the way we express our love to God by singing, you know, sing out a new song, it’s a command to worship the Lord. But it’s more than that.

Jeff Deyo 4:13
We know that worship is a lifestyle. In fact, if your songs are somehow contrary to your life, if my songs are contrary to my life, you look at Amos 5, verses 21 and following, that talk about this idea that God doesn’t even want to hear our musical worship if our lives are not in line with the lyrics, right? It says He’d rather have a flood of righteous living and justice. That’s what the Word says. So that’s worship. We know that in James it says what true worship is, right?

Jeff Deyo 4:51
Another definition of what James says is that true worship is taking care of orphans and widows and and remaining uncorrupted by the world. Both of those things, right? We also know that worship, this is another popular understanding of what worship is, is that worship is our life response to a revelation of who God is, right?

Jeff Deyo 5:17
Revelation is not just knowledge, it’s knowledge that God has given us. So it’s understanding in the mind, that drops into the heart, that drops into the spirit. So it’s bigger than just knowledge, it’s greater than knowledge, but it’s a revelation that has to happen to us, and then we respond. So worship is our response to who God is. Hey, it might be that we respond in songs, it might be that we respond by lifting our hands, but it also might be that we love our wives better, we love our husband better, we love our children better, because those are also acts of worship.

Dick Hardy 5:53
Wow, that is so good, Jeff, that really is so good. You know, we had another question turned in, it was a couple down the line there from what you and I were looking at, that ties into this. What do you call a definition, or the purpose of worship? I mean, you’re just, you were on the edge of it there.

Jeff Deyo 6:09

Dick Hardy 6:09
Can you flesh that out a little bit? The definition and purpose?

How should a worship pastor/leader honor the lead pastor? Download the free guide worship pastors can use on ways to show honor and respect to the pastoral team.

Jeff Deyo 6:12
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, one of the ideas of purpose, we know that the number one purpose of worship is to bring God glory, right? I mean, especially as we’re talking about musical worship in a service, and that is what we’re getting at. We want you to understand that we understand that worship is more than just music, but we do want to help you with this musical side, what happens in our church services? How do we gather together?

Jeff Deyo 6:38
Because there’s nothing like a song that brings us together. Other forms of art are also worship, right? You could paint a picture to God, to express your love for him. You could write a poem to God, you can write a short story, and it can be worship than to God. But only music is something that we can do together. So it’s a beautiful thing as we come together and talk about this thing called musical worship.

Jeff Deyo 7:01
But when you think about the purpose of worship, number one purpose is to give glory, to bring glory to God. To lift Him up, to respond to Him for all of His goodness. He started this, right? He started the first domino, the first domino was tipped by God, He came out of heaven. Well, first, He created us to walk and fellowship with Him, right? Back to the garden, walking and talking with God. Right? That’s our purpose. That’s why we were created to be in fellowship with God.

Jeff Deyo 7:31
Not to be in a Bible study 24 hours a day, but to do life with God, that’s one of the main purposes of our lives, right? So, but our response to Him, He has loved us, therefore, we must respond and loving Him, and part of how we do that is through our musical worship. It’s not the only way, but it is an important way. It’s a way that God has deemed important. So if you think, Ah, it’s not important. It’s important to God, because He created us.

Jeff Deyo 7:58
I would say this, He wired us to worship and so if we refuse to worship, we actually are like shooting ourselves in the foot. So I’ll give you one other, one little other thought on this purpose of worship. Number one purpose is give glory to God. But what if I told you that, that worship is not for God? And what I mean by this is yes, worship is to God, worship has got to be about God, it can’t be about me it can be for, it can’t be to me, directed to me. But guess what God has given us this act of worship, and it changes us.

Jeff Deyo 8:33
And I’ll ask you this question. And you’ll probably hear this throughout the course, once you get it. But you’ll I’ll ask you this question, who’s changed more when we worship God? God, or me? Obviously, I’m changed more. God is not changed. God does not need our worship. He wants our worship, He wants fellowship with us, but I need to worship God.

Jeff Deyo 8:55
So when I refuse to worship God, it’s me who’s negatively impacted by that. Right? And when I do worship God, even when I don’t feel like it, come on, man, somebody. Like Paul and Silas in the prison, they said about midnight, they began to lift up a song to God. And we know the story, chains broke, prison doors flew open, the jailers family got saved. Life was changed forever for Paul and Silas and everyone in their area right there.

Do you wonder how to get all ages to enjoy the worship music and hymns in your church? Download the free guide pastors can use to navigate varying worship music preferences and help your congregation grow together.

Navigating Generational and cultural Worship Gaps free PDF for Pastors

Dick Hardy 9:27
Absolutely. Wow, that is so good. We, we just came across that at the church I’m part of. The pastor preaching through the book of Acts and boy, we came across Paul and Silas and wow. That was, you just painted the greatest picture there. Hey, I’m gonna shift gears a little bit here and I’m gonna send you into the deep end of the pool here.

Dick Hardy 9:48
We’ve got this person asking the question on the differences of worship. So while here’s how she couches it, While praise songs are great, so are songs which testify of the goodness and grace of God. What a Friend We Have in Jesus, was the first which came to mind for this person. And their concern that younger students are lacking, what some of the former students, I presume that she means older students have understood about theology. Can you just I mean, you know, this is the whole worship war thing. Can you just talk a little bit about that, the praise songs and the traditional songs?

Jeff Deyo 10:29
Yeah, absolutely. Here’s the thing, right? We know that the New Testament doesn’t talk as much about musical worship. I think the New Testament assumes a lot because the Old Testament talks about it so much. But there are a couple of key passages that deal with this type of thing. I believe there is a misunderstanding about hymns, maybe we would say older songs versus newer songs. Now I know there’s some frustration. Is there scripture, is scripture in our new songs? Are new songs too me focused? Are they not God focused? And I understand that.

Jeff Deyo 11:07
Here’s the thing. We can’t get distracted by the these, and the thous, and the poetry of the old songs. All right? It’s so important. I challenge you, I challenge every person watching this podcast right now. I challenge you to go and do a study on modern worship songs and see how many lines in the modern worship songs are filled with scripture. I’m telling you, there is so much scripture in our modern worship songs.

Jeff Deyo 11:34
Now, it might be put together in a different way than we’re used to from the older songs, but I’m telling you, you can find line after line after line. Now it might not say thee and thou and maybe be as poetic as what we’re used to with older songs, but I’m telling you, if you will look there’s so much Scripture in the new songs.

Jeff Deyo 11:54
Now, here’s something I would tell you from the Bible, right? We know Ephesians 5, verse 19, it gives us three pieces or three parts of what worship songs we have. And there are three types of worship songs that we should have incorporated into our personal time of God and into our services. And I’ll confess I need to work on evening this out in my own life. Alright?

Jeff Deyo 12:19
Listen to this. What does it say? Ephesians 5, verse 19. It says, Then you will sing psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves making music to the Lord in your hearts. Now, listen, guys, I’m telling you, there’s three things right there and people misunderstand. When we’re talking about Psalms, we’re talking about singing verbatim scripture. Now this is one of them I think we’re missing. We’re missing actually singing verbatim scripture.

How should a worship pastor/leader honor the lead pastor? Download the free guide worship pastors can use on ways to show honor and respect to the pastoral team.

Jeff Deyo 12:50
I’ve done this sometimes. I’ve brought a Bible verse up, and I was about to read it. And I felt like the Lord said, Jeff, I don’t want you to read it, I want you to sing it. And I’m like, Lord really? Like, sing the Word? Yes, I sang the Word over the microphone, verbatim. You know, it doesn’t fit perfectly with all the rhythms and everything, but it was so powerful for me to sing verbatim the Word of God. We’re singing songs to God.

Jeff Deyo 13:15
Then the second category is hymns. Now, what you have to understand is we think hymns are the songs that were written in the 1600s, the 1700s, the 1500s, that type of thing. Actually, this category of hymns is all songs that are written by humans to glorify God. Okay? This is what s hyme is. So modern worship songs are also hymns. The old hymns have verses and choruses, our new songs have verses and choruses and bridges as well. So we can’t restrict the term hyme just to old songs, we just have new hymns as well.

Jeff Deyo 13:54
And then the third category of songs is spiritual songs. These are spontaneous worship songs. This is me singing my heart to God. And I’m telling you, it’s so powerful if you can get your congregation to begin to sing their own songs. It’s like asking them to sing their prayers. Something changes when we get our eyes off the script.

Jeff Deyo 14:15
Hey, the script is great. The words on the screen are great, right? But it’s just like when you get a Hallmark card. The professionals have written poems and things that are so nice, but then your grandma sent you a happy birthday card, and it has a nice handwritten note on the back, right? You flip it over, it’s there. It’s written and it’s straight from her. And there’s something special, not to downplay the impact of the poetry in the card that’s professionally written, the songs that are professionally written, but there’s something special when you begin to sing your own song to God. It’s spiritual songs.

Jeff Deyo 14:50
Psalm 22, verse 3, you know this verse, Ah man, listen to this. It says that God inhabits the praises of His people. Well, that word praise, that Hebrew word is actually, Tehilah. And Tehilah means to sing a spontaneous song to the Lord. So we need to involve those three types of songs. We don’t need to just worry about old songs or just new songs. Last thing I’ll say is, I love what Bob Sorge says. He says it this way, Old songs gather and new songs propel. Let’s go.

Dick Hardy 15:28
There you go. Man, that is great Jeff, that is great. You know, we’ve got just a couple minutes left here. I’m gonna take a shot here at one more question here. Can you explain the difference between praise and then worship? Rather than simply thinking they mean fast and slow songs? Can you kind of flesh that out a little bit?

Jeff Deyo 15:48
Yeah, absolutely. I will say to start off that there is some element of truth to that. Right? The praise song has like a celebratory element to it. It’s like, we’re dancing, we’re celebrating, we’re praising. This is a heart of gratitude. You know, we’re explosive, we might be just all out, all over the place. There are Hebrew words for praise for that, too. There’s the word Hallel. Which means to worship glamorously fullest, right? They just can’t contain our love for God, our praise, our adoration, it’s just filling our hearts and it’s exploding out.

Do you wonder how to get all ages to enjoy the worship music and hymns in your church? Download the free guide pastors can use to navigate varying worship music preferences and help your congregation grow together.

Navigating Generational and cultural Worship Gaps free PDF for Pastors

Jeff Deyo 16:22
It’s not a, it’s not a solitary expression, right? We’re all together. We’re like, man, who knows, maybe there’s a train running around, people just dancing and celebrating God. Maybe they’re in a circle going in circles together, but we’re acknowledging each other. There’s unity happening in these praise songs, right?

Jeff Deyo 16:39
And then there’s this worship moment. I think this also has to do with the the courts, right? You, you come into the courts and you have these different levels of coming into the presence of God, right? The outer courts, the inner courts, and the Holy of Holies. It feels like the praise songs are kind of like the beginning, right? We’re coming in with thanksgiving and praise, the doors are open, the gates are open, and we begin to praise Him out of faith.

Jeff Deyo 17:04
We don’t feel like it sometimes, but we do it anyways. We glorify our God. As we do that, it brings us deeper into His presence, deeper into the courts of the Lord, and to the point where begin to enter into the Holy of Holies. Right? Man, I’m telling you, it’s like worship allows us, that worship song, allows us to go deep. Now, some people want to skip the outer courts and skip the inner courts and go right to the Holy of Holies. I totally get that. And sometimes I think we can do that.

Jeff Deyo 17:32
But guys, we’ve got to stop doing that all the time. It’s so important to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Come on somebody. And then we’re gonna get into, as we unlease, as we let go, as we celebrate, there’s a connection that begins to happen relationally with our God, and we come into the Holy of Holies.

Jeff Deyo 17:53
Check out this verse from 2 Chronicles 20: 18 and 19. This is where King Jehoshaphat, right, he’s led to people to fast and pray because they’re getting attacked by an enemy, and they don’t know what to do, right? And so this is what it says in chapter 20, verses 18 and 19. It says, Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord.

Jeff Deyo 18:20
All right? And we agree it’s not just fast songs versus slow songs, but here’s an opportunity. It shows Oh, they’re bowing low with their faces to the ground, and they were worshiping the Lord. Then in verse 19, it says, Then, the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel with a very loud shout. Okay, so there it is, right there in those two verses. Right?

Jeff Deyo 18:49
And it’s kind of the opposite of what I said, you know? I think this can happen too You might move from the, from the Holy of Holies, to a place of just revelation of God’s beauty and begin to celebrate and dance out of that. So it could be bowing low in our worship songs, humble, reverence, quiet, still. And then praise songs, you’re overwhelmed by His goodness, you begin to stand and shout and give Him glory.

Dick Hardy 19:16
That is so good, Jeff, man, That I mean, you have covered, you’ve covered a bunch of territory with those questions, and we really appreciate you taking time to do so. Is there any parting shot you want to make, or do you think you got it covered there?

How should a worship pastor/leader honor the lead pastor? Download the free guide worship pastors can use on ways to show honor and respect to the pastoral team.

Jeff Deyo 19:30
Yeah, I got one last thing I’ll share. I think it’s really important to understand the place that we really need to start, or at least end up and emphasize the most, you have this concept of, of seeking God’s face versus seeking His hands. And many of us have heard this concept, but the idea of seeking His hands is simply about seeking Him for what He can do for us. And that is awesome. We need Him to do things for us. We need him to change us. We need to Him to help us, to heal less. But many people stop short and all they do is seek His hands.

Jeff Deyo 20:04
I’m telling you, the Bible says that Moses talked face to face with God, just like a man talks with a friend. And God is calling each one of us, not just to seek Him for what He can do for us, but first and foremost, to seek Him for who He is. Come on man, if my kids came to me, and all they wanted was Dad, can I have the car keys? Dad, what’s for dinner? Dad, can you help me with my homework. Dad, can you do this for me? Can you do that for me?

Jeff Deyo 20:30
Our relationship wouldn’t be very deep or sincere. But when they come, my little daughter, Claire, comes and jumps up on my knee and says, Daddy, I love you and kisses me on the cheek. And I think to myself, What do you want girl? And she just skips away. Man, that’s where relationship is. She sought my face, not my hands. And of course, when someone seeks my face, I want to give them my hands, as well.

Dick Hardy 20:53
Yeah. So good. So good. Well, listen friends, we hope you’ve found good value, I certainly have, just in the conversation here with Jeff, in the whole subject of, What is worship? And we’re going to be, the next few days, we’re going to be answering more of your questions. And we certainly encourage you to, you know, the Worship Leadership course is now live, we encourage you to go to churchuniversity.com And just go up to the upper right hand corner, there’s a blue button that says learn more. And when you click that, that’s going to give you all the information, you’re going to see the the video of Jeff right at the top.

Dick Hardy 21:33
And we are so excited about this. We know for pastors, and for worship leaders, this course truly has the ability to take your church to brand new levels. For your people to get more engaged in church, and then set the stage…

Jeff Deyo 21:49
Come on

Do you wonder how to get all ages to enjoy the worship music and hymns in your church? Download the free guide pastors can use to navigate varying worship music preferences and help your congregation grow together.

Navigating Generational and cultural Worship Gaps free PDF for Pastors

Dick Hardy 21:49
For the Word come forth. So I thank Jeff for all that he’s done in making it possible, and certainly encourage you to go to churchuniversity.com. And by the way, this thing is all this week up through Thursday, slated at two thirds off. So it’s literally a $1,497 resource that you can get for only $497. And we got 6-month and 12-month payment plans.

Dick Hardy 21:51
So, go to churchuniversity.com, pick it up, and you’ll be really glad you did. Thanks, Jeff, for hanging out with us and the listeners and viewers. We appreciate you being with us. And we’ll look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Make it a great one today, and be blessed.

Jonathan Hardy 22:27
Hey, Jonathan here real quick before you go. Everything in your ministry rises and falls on your leadership. So investing in your leadership is essential to staying healthy and growing the ministry. And that’s why I want to invite you to join us inside the Leaders.Church membership. This online streaming service for pastors gives you access to more than 300 videos plus training material, to level up your leadership and improve your ministry skills. If you’d like to do that, I want to invite you to go to Leaders.Church/Boost. Again, that’s Leaders.Church/Boost. Well, thanks again for joining us on the Church Tips Podcast. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time.

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