Tom Tillman talks about the importance of worship at WBU | KLBK | KAMC

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PLAINVIEW, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — Here is a press release from Wayland Baptist University:

It had been a few years since Tom Tillman had set foot in the Harral Auditorium on the campus of Wayland Baptist University. As a student from 1984 to 1988, he spent a lot of time at the facility, rehearsing his music, singing in musical groups, practicing the piano and, of course, sitting in the chapel. On Wednesday, Tillman, the music and worship director for Texas Baptists, was back on stage at Harral, this time as a guest speaker for UMA’s weekly chapel service.

Tillman spoke about the importance of worship and understanding what worship is meant to be. He was inspired by Psalm 95 and Psalm 78 in which the author speaks of worshiping God and sharing this worship with all generations.

To illustrate his view of how America has drifted away from true worship, Tillman told the story of Sayyid Qutb who came to the United States in the 1940s and was stunned by an American culture that was consumed by worldly pursuits. People were more concerned with fame and status and all that than true worship of God. Qutb even went to church to find Christians devoted to deep worship of God, only to be disappointed when he discovered that the church was a social gathering of superficial people.

Qutb’s disdain for America and Christianity grew to the point that his writings spoke out against American culture. These writings became the founding texts of Al-Qaeda, a militant Islamic group.

Tillman said it’s important to understand what worship is meant to be. He said that too often people view worship as something to be consumed rather than something that shapes their lives.

“It’s about assigning value to something that engages our whole selves,” he said. “When we place value on something heavier than ourselves, it rearranges our whole being. Worship is having our heart, soul, mind, and strength rearranged by God, Himself.

Tillman said it’s also important to understand the extent of who people should worship. The Psalms not only tell how to worship but why, portraying God as the most precious thing in people’s lives. Tillman’s final point was that worship should be shared across generations. Psalm 78 is about hearing, listening and then telling the next generation so they can continue to pass it on to the next generations. Tillman said it was acceptable to have a mix of old hymns and worship songs, to use an organ as well as guitar and drums, and that each generation should adopt these worship trends which are different from what she prefers. Tillman said he has participated in many styles of worship throughout his career and seen just about everything there is to see. But, he said, it is possible to worship God in any setting.

“I found that I can still worship the Lord when I put my preferences aside,” he said.

In conclusion, Tillman challenged Wayland students to avoid getting caught up in “the superficiality of American culture that creeps into our churches.”

“Our hope,” he said, “is in something more precious than we have ever realized.”

(Wayland Baptist University press release)

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