Your new book is written specifically for men about worshipping. Why focus on men for this subject?
While this book has a perspective that intentionally appeals to men, it contains spiritual and practical truths that apply to both men and women. I chose to focus on men because of the significant impact that men who worship have on their families and, consequently, their communities.
Data shows that when a man is the first to accept salvation in his house, there's a 93 percent chance that the rest of the family will follow. This is remarkable compared to the 17 percent when the wife is the first. That finding was incredible to me because it, alone, underscores the role of a man truly being the head–and really head worshiper–of his home.
With all of the unrest in society, our communities desperately need men who are skillful in worship. I believe this is the season most ripe for men to arise and assume their positions of spiritual leadership, by demonstration.
What do men typically struggle with when it comes to worshipping God?
In his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus identified a key impediment to true worship. He told her, "We worship whom we know. You worship whom you don't know." Without a genuine relationship with God and a revelation or acceptance of who He is, we can't even begin to worship.
Another impediment I discuss in my book is a lack of understanding about what worship is. It is not the lifting of our hands, the singing of songs, or the gathering in a temple. Rather, worship is the motive that drives these expressions. With scriptural support, I explain how worship is defined as obedience and submission or subservience to the sovereignty of God. If obedience and subservience don't underwrite the tears in our eyes or the bowing of our heads, our worship is feckless.
Without giving away all the goods of the book, I will say, for men, in particular, there are key distractions that consume our focus and affections. Often, we're unaware of these distractions that hinder our worship. I am extremely excited about exposing the tactics of the distractions and methods to overcome them. I present this in a scientific, but a very practical manner that allows men to have that life-changing "ah-hah" moment.
Worship is a lifestyle, beyond singing on Sunday mornings. How can men begin to bring these practices of worship into their daily lives?
We tend to over-complicate worship. The goal of worship is simply to permit communion with God. God doesn't require worship to inflate His ego. Rather he allows it so we can re-establish an intimate relationship with Him–that relationship that is severed by disobedience. By practicing obedience, we perfect worship and maintain constant communion with God, as Adam did before his act of disobedience, and as Jesus did throughout his entire life.
But, to be obedient to God, we have to acknowledge and submit to his sovereignty. Men often prefer and sometimes demand a position of dominance. This is clearly not conducive to subservience. So, practicing worship daily requires an intentional diminution of ourselves daily.
We force ourselves to diminish in stature, authority, importance, and strength so that God is relatively increased in each of these areas–at least from our personal perspective. Know that there is nothing that we could do or say in our insignificant human state that could possibly add a measure to the stature of God. So, we don't get it twisted, we understand that God only increases in our perspective and perception of who He is.
Who are some of your favorite artists that are influencing today’s worship leaders?
Todd Dulaney and Travis Greene are, I believe, phenomenal songwriters and worship leaders. I love their songs because they are obviously written from the perspective of our acknowledgment of God's sovereignty. "Who can stand against our God? No one can. No one will."
In his song, "Victory Belongs to Jesus," Todd reveals his posture of subservience to an omnipotent God. As importantly, he compels others to assume this position. In the book, I explain how effective worship compels others to worship. Both of these artists do it well.
What can women do to encourage the men in their lives to pursue a life full of worship?
I believe a woman can best encourage her man to live a life of worship, first by understanding for themselves what worship is, its importance, and its benefits. When A Man Worships provides a good description of what a man who worships looks like and what he does. The truth of the matter is, some women who read this book might discover that their man is actually a skillful worshiper; she just didn't recognize it because she was looking for the wrong evidence.
How can we be praying for you?
Thank you so much for asking. I wouldn't have expected that question, but it should be asked more often. I would ask you to pray that I remain sensitive to God's voice, to hear what "the next" is. With all the recent societal events–the COVID-19 pandemic, the protests, racial injustice, and deception of Christians–it is more important than ever that I–we all–hear and obey God's voice.
My medical practice has been impacted by the pandemic. But, the decrease in patient volume has allowed me to finish the assignment of writing this book. For the past three years, I have had an incredible burden to become more socially and politically active. Not using a carnal approach or perspective, but to speak the word and heart of God in these troubling and confusing times.
I don't quite know how all of this comes together, but God knows what's next for me. He also knows what's next for my family, my employees, my community, and the body of believers as a whole. I want Him to reveal this plainly to me, so I can quickly respond in obedience. That's what happens When A Man Worships.