Now this caught my eye! The title of this blog was also the title of a workshop at a Worship Leader conference that I recently attended. I was looking over the topic choices for one of the Tuesday afternoon workshops and this title made me stop and re-read and wonder what in the world the speaker meant. Isn’t that what we do—go to church to worship? (I guess his approach worked, because he caught my attention, and I listened to what he had to say!)
He began by explaining that the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) teaches us that the essential nature and character of God is relational. (I’m with him so far.) The place where we DO Christianity is in relationship – with God, with our family, with our church family, with our neighbors, and going out from there. (Still following.)
(I’ll play devil’s advocate here.) So what is church for then—how does worship fit in? Unfortunately, for some, going to church can sometimes be something to mark off the ‘To Do’ list, or the ‘I’ll Feel Guilty If I Don’t Go’ list. I know I’ve been guilty of the latter in my younger years, not really realizing why I went to church or why I worshipped. The God-thing is for Sunday morning, right?—and then we go about life?
One of the best definitions of worship that I heard several years ago is that “worship is our response to what we value most”. There are many things that can be worshipped—but what does this mean for us when we say we value our relationship with God above all else? What is our response…our worship? What can we bring to the Lord? Micah 6:6-8 says:
6 With what shall I come before the LORD
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
You do not walk humbly with Your God in a one hour 15 minute church service. To quote the speaker: “You walk humbly with your God day in, day out, in how you love your spouse, how you’re dealing with your kids, do you love your neighbor, how’s it going at work, is there integrity in your heart and in your life—in the things you do and commit to. What happens on Sunday mornings comes out of the richness of this humble walk.” (Read his last sentence again!)
I hadn’t really thought of living the Christian life as worship…a 24/7/365 worship…but isn’t that what we’re doing?…responding to what we value the most?
Maybe the title could be reworded to “Don’t Go to Church to Worship (and then leave it there and go about your ‘life’), Bring Your Worship to Church (your 24/7/365 worshipful Christian life to church)”— but that would be a bit wordy, and I don’t think it would have challenged me to really think it through!
I hope this challenges you to discover, or rediscover your worship!