Preference and Deference in Worship

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While I only had the privilege of talking with Chip Stam a few times before his passing, I was not surprised to be encouraged—once again—by his words.

In this excerpt, Mike Cosper recounts and elaborates upon Chip’s humbling, yet joy-filled, lesson on the purpose and foundation of worship:

Chip Stam once taught me that worship is a matter of preference and deference. Sometimes I get to sing with my preferences, enjoying the songs, styles, and sounds of music that resonate with my cultural ‘place.’ Other times, I defer to others in my church family, joining my voice with their choice of music.

Grace makes that deference joyful. As I join my voice with the diverse community of faith around me, I also join my voice with saints from all of the past two thousand years. Together, we sing and shout, teach and admonish, and experience the rich joy of God’s indwelling Word. We sing with grace, and we sing because of Grace.

—Mike Cosper, Rhythms of Grace: How the Church’s Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel (Crossway, 2013), p. 167

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