I am currently preaching a series on “The heart of worship.” On each of the sermon outlines, I provided the following list of principles I have developed over the years as I have thought about worship.
We tend to equate worship with:
- Music. When the music stops, worship ends.
- Church building. We focus on corporate worship.
- Sunday. We limit worship to one hour per week.
- Our preferences. We dismiss anything outside our “likes.”
Worship is a celebration of God:
- Worship is focused on who God is and what he has done (Revelation 4:8-11).
- Worship is an active response to God whereby we declare his worth (Psalm 96:4, 8).
Worship should include a wide range of expression:
- Musical—stringed instruments (Psalm 98:5); trumpets, brass (Psalm 98:6); cymbals, tambourines, percussion (Psalm 150:4, 5).
- Verbal—praise, singing (Psalm 138:1-2); joy, gladness, singing (Psalm 100:1-2); creativity and new songs (Psalm 96:1; 98:1); continual expression (Revelation 4:8-11); silence (Habakkuk 2:20).
- Physical—bowing, kneeling (Psalm 95:6); dancing (Psalm 150:4); clapping (Psalm 98:8); service (Romans 12:1-2); gifts (Philippians 4:18).
- Emotions—joy, gladness, singing (Psalm 100:1-2); humility (2 Chronicles 7:3); brokenness (Job 1:20).
Definition of Worship:
Worship is an act of reverence (adoration) by men and women (creature) to God (Creator) made in response to God’s revelation of himself (his person and his works) expressed by an offering (sacrifice) of ourselves through our life (personality, abilities, gifts, obedience; Romans 12:1-2, 6-8), substance (time, resources, finances; Philippians 4:18), praise (adoration, thanksgiving; Hebrews 13:1), and service (good works, evangelism; Romans 15:16; Hebrews 13:16).