Especially in American Christianity, worship is all the rage. It’s probably even one of the most frequently used terms in Christian subculture. “Worship” is used as a music genre or a substitution word to mean a corporate gathering of a local church. But what if we reframed our understanding of worship to include more than just music? I’m definitely not the only one to suggest this, but it’s a worthwhile conversation.
I’ve thought a lot about worship: what it is, why we do it, what it means, how it should be done, etc. — largely due to the fact that I’ve been a “worship leader” in several capacities.
During the three summers between my semesters at college, I was the music leader for a traveling missions team called PowerPlant. I led the worship gathering every night, and did my best to foster an environment for people to connect with God and sing their thanks and praise to Him.
While in Minneapolis/Saint Paul for college, I was part of the leadership team for a young church plant called Jacob’s Well, pastored by my friend Nate. Most Sunday nights, I led a band (or coordinated a band in my absence) to provide people in attendance with a musical soundtrack for responding to Jesus in worship.
And that’s what I’ve come to see worship as: responding to God.
Making Choices as an Act of Worship
Throughout life and in Scripture, God communicates His desire for relationships with people. He gives out of His immense goodness, and invites us to express something back to Him. He wants our response.
One of the greatest ways we can respond to God’s goodness is by making choices that express our gratitude to Him. The way we spend our time says something about our connection to God. The way we treat other people says something about our connection to God. With the choices we make, we can worship Him as the source of everything good.
Said another way, our priorities reveal who or what we worship:
“Countless times each day I come to a fork in the road, a point that requires my response to the question, “Who is in charge here?” What I choose will shape my words, my thoughts, my actions and reactions. It will determine what I write on my calendar and in my checkbook. To declare God’s lordship by the choices I make is worship.”
– Greg Tucker, HM Magazine #128 Nov/Dec 2007
How do you define “worship?”