What is Worship?
In modern-day Evangelicalism people tend to be concerned with worship. However, I find that the concern is in the wrong spot. People are more concerned with how they sound than what the music they are playing represents. I find that the person in the pew gets hung up on the presentation of the worship and I am definitely guilty of this. I notice when wrong notes are struck or when a singer uses far to many hand gestures. Instead of focusing on the presentation I want to be a worshiper that focuses on God. This is what God wants for his people also. Jesus says these words in John 4:23:
But a time is coming – and now is here – when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. -NET
Jesus’ words always have a way of slapping me in the face when I need it. When it comes to worship God is looking for people who will “worship the Father in spirit and truth” not people focused on the song that was penned in the 90’s. When the saints coming together to worship their God it is always beautiful.
When I was working as a youth minister the church I went to never had top-notch equipment. We had people who could play and sing well but we were by no means professional. I was the bassist for many of the worship services so those weeks were not the best when it came to the performance. But even though we didn’t have the most talented people I found that worship was always great because people were not concerned about the music. They were concerned about God. That’s what makes worship; worship. There is another aspect of worship that needs to get addressed.
I find that worship tends to stop when the music stops. This should not be the case. When the music stops worship shouldn’t. Worship goes beyond simply the music portion of the service. When we open the Word that is an act of worship. The previous passage gives us insight on this but Jesus’ words directly after it highlight this perfectly when he says:
God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. -John 4:24, NET
Worship should be focused on truth. And we all know who the Truth is…
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6
Since Jesus is the truth then worship should be focused on who Jesus is and what he came to do. And how do we learn about Jesus? Let’s look at Jesus’ words in John 5:39-40:
You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me, but you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.
In this passage Jesus is speaking to the Jewish leaders and he is obviously speaking poorly about them. The leaders were studying the Scriptures but they didn’t recognize that they testified to the coming of Jesus. As worshipers we are people focused on Scripture. We should be concerned with what the Scriptures have to say about Jesus. This is the focus of worship. Worship is an encounter with God and the way we do so is by opening up the Scriptures. This is why worship doesn’t stop when the music stops. Worship is much more than what current Evangelicalism has made it out to be.
Worship is not about guitars or drums. It isn’t about how well people sing or the songs that are played. Worship is about focusing on God and encountering him. This Sunday go into church realizing that worship doesn’t stop when they tell you to sit down. Worship is about focusing on God…all the time.
Thanks for reading.