“Hey, worship sounded great yesterday!”
“Thanks,” I enthusiastically replied, and felt that familiar wrestling in my gut. For years now, I’ve tried to figure out how to best respond to similar compliments. To be honest, I appreciate the kind words. Who doesn’t enjoy a pat on the back from time to time? But what about when it doesn’t sound great? Sometimes I wonder if we need to expand our understanding of worship. Here are some principles I’d love for you to ponder and hopefully embrace.
Worship is not… just music. The words we use matter. I’ve found that sometimes when we talk about “the worship,” we really are talking about “the music.” Worship is so much more. What about prayer? Or listening (actively) to God’s word? Giving our offerings? Communion? And those are just the things we typically do on Sunday mornings! Keep reading…
Worship is not… a performance (and we are not the audience). Sometimes we seem to think worship is a performance we attend. “How was worship today?” “It was amazing!” If this sounds familiar and worship has become something to watch and hear, then I apologize, because some Sundays I’m a terrible performer! I miss chords, I forget words. The good news is, worship is a product: it’s an offering. Worship is what you bring. Maybe that’s singing and praying along on Sunday mornings. But maybe for you it’s helping your neighbor, or encouraging a friend, or mentoring a young person, or leading a small group, or giving an offering… worship can be anything that you bring to give glory to God!
Worship is… “the work of the people.” This is the biblical definition of worship. It’s what happens when God’s people gather and declare together that Jesus is Lord in all areas of our corporate life! So I’d encourage you to sing along. Get involved. Say “amen.” Show kindness to others. Join a small group. Serve, in and out of the church. See Sunday morning as a recap of your worship life for the past week, and as a prelude of your worship life for the next week. I’d love for every one of us to leave your church on Sundays with a prayer in our hearts, “God, that was for you. Thanks for your love. And this week: it’s for You, too. Thanks for speaking to me today!”
Worship is… a transformed life. Wouldn’t it be awesome if when someone said, “Tell me about your church,” you responded by telling them how Jesus has transformed you, and how you see Jesus transforming those around you at your church? Don’t get them interested with “the music is awesome” or “the message is the best.” Tell them—and show them—how your church has changed you, and invite them to come along.