What is Worship?

This question has been on my mind for quite some time. What a hot topic within ministry groups today. It is so easy to jump on a bandwagon especially when it seems to be the right wagon. I would like to pose a thought in regards to worship and our culture.

“What a great worship time,” a student says as he leaves the large group meeting. Oh how often we hear that today. Students especially, when they think of worship immediately think of singing. “What a great worship time” is really “What a great singing time.” “I didn’t like that group because I just didn’t like their worship,” ever heard that before? For some campus ministers their frustrations are that students plug into the group who has the best guitarist. “I hope my drummer doesn’t graduate,” a campus minister cries. The majority of students today have reduced worship to a talented band.

What might be happening is that we bring in good musicians, it draws a crowd and we say “Look, people are coming, it must be God, everybody is worshipping!” No, everybody is singing and the majority leave lacking. Why? Because the students come not to lay down their sin and suffering, but to forget it for a while.

Pop in a Vineyard CD and drive down the road. No different than when I was a nonchristian and I couldn’t stand quietness, it’s just now I Christianize it, turn up my radio and zone out while I drive. Isn’t it amazing how many will go to a worship conference and not a missions conference. Culturally, the first revolves around singing and the second revolves around giving up your life. As I search the scriptures I love what the apostle Paul says about worship.

“Therefore I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1-2

If you cornered Paul what would he say in regards to worship? I don’t necessarily think he would say it is a singing thing. According to him worship is a holy living issue. To turn away from pornography, that is worship. To take every thought captive, that is worship. To lay aside your dreams and talents, that is worship. To forgive each other, that is worship. To walk out of the church more like Jesus, that is worship. Next time we worship God we don’t have to go buy a CD with some slow songs on it, instead we need to tie ourselves on the altar and present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice.

By Todd Ahrend