[QUOTE=pnggrad79-I feel like worship and praise are very personal actions directed vertically toward God. It is MY praise to HIM. I shouldn't have to impress others with it nor do I intend to. I know there is a time and place for corporate praise and worship and I happily do it, but I don't feel it is anyone's right to tell me their opinion of how I do it. But invariably, our worship leader says it is not good enough, it is not bringing God's presence into our worship. We need to be more animated and more this or more that. If God is who I worship, why should anyone be able to say it isn't good enough?
I want to be able to worship freely and I think that I should be able to do that in church. Am I wrong? Am I just taking this too seriously?
Ok - first off - how you feel is how you feel, and that is ALWAYS appropriate, because it's just your personal feeling. You desire a church that fits YOU - rather than molding yourself to fit the church.
What really got me was that your worship leader says it's not enough, "it is not bringing God's presence into worship???"
Er. . . So, where is HE then? Is HE down the road at the other church where the praise team is more animated, because HE thinks they're cooler, more hip, more passionate, more sincere than yours? Did HE stay home this morning because Pnggrad wasn't rolling on the floor? Or did HE walk out part way through the service because "it wasn't enough" for HIM?
If someone said to me that I wasn't bringing God into the service, I would have several reactions:
1: Oh wow - what power I have!!! It's all MY responsibility to lure God around like a dog on a leash.
2: Oh, God isn't present for our service? HE isn't everywhere?
3: If God isn't present, where the bleep is HE then?
4: If God relies solely upon appearances, HE isn't very spiritual, is HE?
And so on. Honestly, I wouldn't have been as patient as you. I would've thrown up my hands in exasperation, rolled my eyes, and walked out.
But we're all different - if in some way, this style of worship appeals to you, or this church appeals very strongly, perhaps you want to try and "make things work." But my impression reading your post is that you're already finding this church to be a non-fit for you. Yes, everyone's style of worship is personal and different. The same person at different times might pray quietly, or drop to the floor and weep out loud. I've been known to do both.
Lastly, real religion is inward. It is not about the outward show. It is not a performance for others. IT is you, growing into the being you already are in the Lord's image - realizing it, if you will. It is you finding inner peace, and becoming alert to the divine spirit within you and the world around you. HOW you experience that is immaterial. What matters is the sincerity of your worship. Not how exciting it looks from the outside.