I’ve been wondering lately what it is we mean by ‘worship.’ I’ve heard a lot of people talk about this over the years and noticed an interesting paradox. Well, it’s not really a paradox, but there does seem to be a contradiction at work.
Point One: ‘worship teachers’ all insist that ‘worship’ involves more than just singing. They point to verses like Romans 12:1 to make their point:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
This is very true. In fact, I like to marry this verse with Mark 8:34-35:
[Jesus] called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”
Our worship is more than just singing. It encapsulates every part of who we are and what we do. It is the act of sacrificing our very lives for the sake of Jesus.
Point Two: ‘worship teachers’ are invariably well known song writers, musicians or ‘worship leaders.’ By ‘worship leader’ I mean ‘person who has a reputation for being good at leading congregational singing.’
Here’s the paradox: worship is not just about congregational singing, but its teachers are. Hmm.
This isn’t a complaint or even a criticism—it’s an observation. What it means I don’t know. If you think you do, please do me a favour and leave a comment.