Darlene Zschech – How To Build A Life and Culture of Worship

Notes from a session at#Nextlevel at Kingsgate Peterborough

Ps 29:2 tells us to ; Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

Worship is not an event. Worship is more than a Sunday, a band, an experience. It is our faith expressed – the rightful posture of our hearts.

It begins with revelation. An encounter. To be overwhelmed by his love so I give my whole life to him. That’s how we start when we become Jesus followers – and never stop!

The universe ceaselessly proclaims the glory of God. We are brought into that eternal proclamation. We are made for worship and if we don’t worship him – we will worship something else. 

Rom 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Worship is our daily YES. Our daily trust and following. 

There are many Hebrew words for worship but a key main one, Avodahwork, worship and service.

In Gen 2:15 we read the same word to describe Adam’s job. In Exodus 12 Moses tells Pharaoh God says, ‘Let my people go that they may Avodah me.’ Joshua declared “As for me and my house we will Avoda the Lord.”

Our lives are integrated through worship. It transforms everything. Ushers in the kingdom. 

When the sinful woman interrupts and pours out her life, her service, as a response to Jesus being in the house. The Pharisees criticise how demonstrative she is. But Jesus rewards her. What’s your posture of worship?

King David was a radical worshipper. We read in 2 Samuel how his heart overflowed into his expression. His wife glares at him for what people will think but he says, “This is not about what people think. It’s an interior revelation – I am FREE!”

3 things Darlene has learned/had to unlearn about Worship.

  1. Worship is not a lifestyle 

Worship is more than a lifestyle, it’s NOT a lifestyle – it’s our life! This is NOT a lifestyle choice like, ‘I think I’ll live near the beach.’ 

It’s not an option you choose. It’s your response to the finished work of Christ. The veil was torn in two. Nothing can separate us now. God’s presence is not a place for us to go. It’s with us, in us, through us. Hebrews 13:15 exhorts – Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

  • 2. Worship will always take faith. 

In the Passion Translation we read how Paul prayed for the Ephesians that they will grow in this ‘by constantly using your faith…’ 

When you worship don’t ever feel condemned by your feelings, go by faith. 

We walk by faith, not by sight, or opinions, or feelings. We can’t judge other people’s worship. God knows what’s genuine. We go through pain, valleys. But sometimes you have to sing it till you believe it.

When she was going through chemo for a year, a friend came to her bedside when she was really sick and said ‘I’m going to play you this new Bethel song – ‘You make me brave.’

She said ‘No I don’t want to. I don’t feel brave.’ 

So the friend played it, again and again. She said, ‘You are going to sing this until it’s real for you and He makes you brave!’

A shift took place, from fear to faith

It’s a privilege to lead worship when things are tough. 

We either believe this stuff or we don’t. James 4 says that when you draw near to God, HE DRAWS NEAR to us! Don’t let the knocks knock you down, let worship make you stand. Worship is not about my feelings. I am told to come into his presence gladly, with singing

  • 3. Worship always leads us to the presence of God

Psalm 22:3 tells us He inhabits our praises. Sometimes the ‘doing’ of worship can make it become about all kinds of things that it has nothing to do with. Take stock. Realise, “Hang on – I am part of bringing people into God’s presence, where they will bring precious praises to Him.” That takes any ‘performance’ pressure right off. 

One encounter with Jesus changes everything. It’s not always comfortable, but it’s the safe place to be changed. Science tells us music stimulates more parts of the brain than anything else. It’s a gift of God for transforming us.

Jesus has made a way for all eternity – an All Access Pass to the throne, the presence of God. Enter in with thanks and praise. 

The way the Message version renders Psalm 100 starts – “Use the password ‘Thank you!’.. and come in…” 

Worship always magnifies and celebrates God’s presence with us. It tells distractions and worries to bow down, in the presence of the King. 

Keys to Build a Worship Culture – in a TEAM and PERSONALLY.  


Remember the WHY of worship. That’s one of the strongest things to build culture. Don’t assume they know the why. We may have lots of people who know the WHAT – but how many know the WHY?

How do we build that? Among other things, make sure the songs are theologically correct, and remind the church of Why. It will be the anchor to the expression of worship. 


We are here to exalt the Lord. If you’re meant to be leading worship don’t come and stand in front of everyone to tell everyone what a hard week you had. Go by faith not feelings and serve the Lord with GLADNESS. That’s not an emotion, it’s a by product of JOY, which is a fruit of the Spirit. 

As a leader, you choose to serve with gladness. In your home first. Then next, in your team. Go into God’s presence and Go out with JOY! When I can’t find that joy – I have to sit at his feet, and get it. 


You have to fight for unity – the sense that we are in this together.

As more people come in and join us, remember for some of them this is the only encouragement they get. We need to grow caring community. They won’t trust you until they know you care about them. That person is not a role. Family is not created by emails and rotas. Let them know you love them, more than what they do. 


You can’t have a strong culture of worship without a culture of prayer. Prayer is our first language. Pray and prophesy over one another.


David was offered the chance at second best worship and replied NO! “I will not bring before the Lord that which costs me nothing.’ This is holy! Worship that doesn’t cost, is not worthy.