WORSHIP IS . . . WHAT?
Pastor invites friend over to help out on Sunday morning
Game Time: “Make Some Noise”
Christian worship joyfully ascribes all praise and honor, glory and power to the triune God. In worship the people of God acknowledge God present in the world and in their lives. As they respond to God’s claim and redemptive action in Jesus Christ, believers are transformed and renewed. In worship the faithful offer themselves to God and are equipped for God’s service in the world.
- Presbyterian Book of Order W-1.000000
noun \ˈwər-shəp also ˈwȯr-\
: the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god : the act of worshipping God or a god
: excessive admiration for someone
- Merriam Webster Dictionary
(Webster considered education "useless without the Bible")
In a 1999 research study by Barna Research Group, Ltd., disturbing statistics were discovered regarding the worship experience of regular church attendees (NOT the Poinsettia and Lily crowd!) in American churches. Results included:
Ø Two Thirds of faithful church-goers cannot give an adequate definition of worship.
Ø One-Third of church attending adults stated they have never experienced God’s presence.
Ø One-Half of regular church attendees asserted they have not experienced God’s presence in the last year.
Biblical understanding of worship: Worship is not a suggestion it is an often repeated command.
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord… (Psalm 29:2)
“Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness…” (Psalm 96:9)
“You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4:10)
“And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever Amen."
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
First three of the Ten Commandments are about worship:
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make idols.
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Worship may be the most important thing we teach and do since we will be doing it for all eternity. It is one of our most important purposes in life as is an essential part of our beingness.
“Worship is written upon the heart of man by the hand of God… In a broad sense worship is inseparable from and is an expression of life. It is not that man cannot live without worship, it is that he cannot truly live without worship…man was made to worship as surely as he was made to breathe. We may restrict the expression of worship for a season, just as we may briefly hold our breath, but there is an inward craving for worship that cannot be permanently stilled.” - Judson Cornwall The Practice of Praise
Worship challenges of those who work at church on Sunday mornings.
The enemy of our souls understands the priority of worship. The truth is that Satan will often tempt you and me in the same way he did Jesus. If he cannot get us to worship him, then he will do everything he can to keep us busy with mundane tasks, problems in life, etc. He will even help keep us busy with church activities in order to keep us from focusing on the Lord and worshipping Him. Do not fall for his ploys.
Worship. It is and always will be our first priority.” - Tom Kraeuter Worship Is… What?!
TABLE TALK . . .
1. Discuss which of these worship experiences you can relate to:
It is the priority of your life.
It starts in your heart.
It proceeds from heart to action.
It is a response to God, a giving to God.
Your conscience has been quickened by the holiness of God
Your mind is fed by the word of God.
You heart is open to the love of God.
Your will is devoted to the purpose of God.
2. What does your worship life look like on Sunday mornings?
3. Is there somewhere else, some other time you practice worshipping?
4. How do you respond to traditional/liturgical elements of worship?
Do they have meaning for you, or are you simply reciting familiar words?
Does singing familiar hymns bring you into a worshipful, heartfelt, honoring God, giving Him glory kind of place?
When the choir sings is it a worship experience for you, or is it more like a performance to break up the service?
Do you feel like you’re brought into the presence of God in our traditional LJPC services?
5. How does the contemporary worship service style impact you?
Do you feel like you are brought into the presence of God by the music?
Do you wonder how many people stand during worship due to peer pressure or because of genuine heartfelt worship?
Does the music portion of the service feel like worship or entertainment?
Do you feel like you’re brought into the presence of God in our contemporary LJPC service?
6. When have you richly encountered God in a gallery, book, performance, or film? Try to explain what happened to you and why.