Definition of Worship

Toward a Definition of Worship

Being that there is a great deal of romanticism surrounding the idea of worship, it is important that we get down to a definition of what worship is.  Otherwise we may be prone to worshipping worship itself, rather than the God who deserves our praise.

“there is a profound sense in which excellent worship cannot be attained merely by pursuing excellent worship.  In the same way that, according to Jesus, you cannot find yourself until you lose yourself, so also you cannot find excellent corporate worship until you stop trying to find excellent corporate worship and pursue God Himself. Despite the protestations, one sometimes wonders if we are beginning to worship worship rather than worship God.  As a brother put it to me, it’s a bit like those who begin by admiring the sunset and soon begin to admire themselves admiring the sunset.”[1]

Ironically, we have a tendency to make worship more about us than it is about the God to whom it should be directed.  Perhaps some Biblical grounding will provide the humility to stop this tendency. Read more


Worship: Deeply, Outward, Upward

If you read through the Old Testament, you find that there are entire chapters devoted to describing what Israel’s worship was to look like. There are sections detailing what they priests were to wear (Ex. 28), who is to offer sacrifices and when, what qualifies as an acceptable offering (Lev. 1-7), the dimensions of the tabernacle (Ex. 25-26). This is just a small sampling of all that was laid out for the Old Testament worship to take place.

When we turn to the New Testament however, we find a surprisingly small amount of instruction in regard to our gathering.

We’re called to preach (2 Tim. 4:2), be devoted to the public reading of scripture (1 Tim. 4:13), and sing (Col. 3:16, Eph. 5:19). Read more


Trinitarian Worship

I remember a college professor saying that worship should only be directed toward the Father and Son because the Spirit’s role was to remind us of Jesus. While it is true that the Spirit’s role is to glorify Jesus (John 16:14), it is equally true that the Father glorifies the Son (John 17:5) and the Son has glorified the Father (John 17:4).

The truth is that from the beginning of time there has been an amazing activity of glorification amongst the members of the Godhead. Dan Cruver writes; Read more


Building Music Ministry on the Gospel

Just as Jesus is both the sacrifice and the priest, so the gospel is both the means and focus of corporate worship—that is to say, the Godhead’s work in the gospel is our central focus and we are capable of such worship only through the access we have in Christ.

It is vitally important for us to plan our services with the gospel at the center as this is ultimately the point of scripture—we see Jesus’ work in every page.  From the need created in Gen. 3 to the Lamb’s book of life in Revelation 21, God’s purpose is to show us Jesus (Lk. 24:44). Read more

Theology and Doxology

Overwhelmingly, the pattern provided in God’s Word shows us that good theology moves our hearts to Doxology. Lets say that differently; our understanding of who God is moves our hearts to praise Him.  On the whole, worship without meaning is simply emotionalism and as such will be short lived.  But worship which begins with understanding is, in some sense, complete.  C.S. Lewis draws this out well; Read more


Piety and Worship

You’re there on a Sunday morning, enjoying the time of corporate worship and suddenly it hits you; you remember the sin you had performed yesterday. “It wasn’t even 24 hours ago” you say to yourself. And suddenly, in that moment, you feel less capable of worship.  There is now an obstacle—even though the sin has been confessed (often times more than once). You still find yourself plagued with guilt and you look forward to that time, a few days from now perhaps, when the wound won’t quite be so …fresh.

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Worship: Old and New

The longer I work in music ministry, the more I realize how confused people are in regard to difference between the Old and New Testaments. It was just recently that someone confessed in a counseling session that they don’t read the Old Testament. Honestly, I didn’t even follow up (though, I should have); I’ve heard the same arguments for years—its too bloody, too hard to understand, or too far removed from where we are in our more “civilized” society.

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