In my previous post I tried to lay out what worship “should be.” If I am correct we have really gotten off track somewhere.

I believe that worship is more than our church gatherings. It is all of life. Read this quote by Archbishop William Temple.

Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness, nourishment of mind by His truth, purifying of imagination by His beauty, opening of the heart to His love, and submission of will to His purpose. And all this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of human expressions of which we are capable.

This is a tremendous quote that certainly gives definition to more than just our church gatherings. To be sure, it includes our church gatherings, but it is not limited to them. Maybe I’m just playing word games here, but how can we adequately describe all the facets reflected in worship?

We call our church gatherings “worship services” or “services of worship.”

We call our singing time “worship.”

We have “worship ministries” and a “Worship Ministries Pastor.”

We call what we should be doing in all of life “worship.”

And we wonder why we are confused???

There are some good questions that should come out of this though…

First of all, we should ask how the Bible defines worship. Do you know? How does worship fit into what we call church? For that matter, what is the purpose of our church gatherings?

Secondly, if we believe that the church gathering is about worship, we need to be asking how each element of the church gathering point us towards “worship?” For example, what about the announcements? Where do they fit? Prelude music? Stand up and greet your neighbor time? Drama? Lighting? Decor? Offering? Communion? Baptism? Preaching? And, gasp, our music? How do we answer these questions in light of our consumer-driven society?

These are tough questions that we must continue to grapple with! What answers, solutions, or compromises have you come up with?

In my final (?) post on worship I will explain one simple thing that I’ve done. It is very simple, but I believe it has had a profound effect on how we look at “worship.”

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