Dave Fellingham writes:


AdobeIcon‘There can be no doubt that the early church was a singing, praising, worshipping church.   Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, those early gatherings would have been in a truly charismatic dimension.   Psalms of praise, hymns, spiritual songs, both composed and spontaneous, singing in tongues –  all were means of expressing the new song that God had put in the hearts of the new Christians.

Prophetic utterances, tongues and interpretations, words of wisdom and knowledge, healings, exhortations, discerning of spirits, miracles, acts of faith, giving money, as well as the exposition and teaching of Scripture, were some of the ways in which individuals could contribute to the meetings.   It would be hard to imagine that the singing of Psalms would have been formal and lifeless.

The Psalms express a whole variety of ways in which praise and worship can be brought to God:   ‘Bless the Lord’,   ‘Give thanks’,   ‘Praise the Lord’,   ‘Magnify His Name’,   ‘Sing to the Lord’,   ‘Shout to God’,   ‘Shout joyfully with psalms’,   ‘Clap your hands’,   ‘Lift up your hands’,   ‘Dance’,   ‘Bow down’,   ‘Kneel’,   ‘Worship’,   ‘Praise the Lord with instruments’.

It would appear from the writings of Paul that the infant church was charismatic in its variety of ministries and creative in its worship.   We do not know what the worship sounded like, but we can assume that the life and joy of spirit-filled lives gave full vent to that joy in the kind of expressions of worship and praise contained in the Psalms.   We may dare to conjecture that among the exercise of the ministries which are more clearly described, there would have been corporate singing, hand-clapping, dancing, shouting, hand-raising, kneeling and bowing, all deriving from the original directives in the Psalms.”

Recommended Reading

  • Chris Bowater – Creative Worship (Marshal Pickering)
  • Judson Cornwall – Elements of Worship (Logos)
  • David Fellingham – Worship Restored (Kingsway)
  • Jack Hayford – Worship His Majesty (Word)
  • Graham Kendrick – Worship (Kingsway)
  • Jo King Leading – Worship & accompanying tape (Kingsway)
  • Warren Wiersbe – Real Worship (Kingsway)
  • Tom Inglis – The Psalmist
  • John Leach – Liturgy & Liberty
  • M Coleman/E Lindquist – Come and Worship