Thinking Rightly about Worship

Worship is one of the least understood and at the same time most overused phrases in Christian circles (in my humble opinion, of course).  We say the word a lot, but I don’t think we have a clear understanding of what it truly means.

What is worship?  When we worship, what are we doing?  When we think about worship, what occupies our thoughts?  Is it merely my musical response to God that happens with a group of people? Or is it much more than that?

Most people use the word “worship” (as do most pastors) to talk about music by and large.  Yet Biblical worship involves much more than that.  True Biblical worship is a way of living.  We are to be living sacrifices, offered up to the Living God. (Romans 12:1)

Music is only one aspect of this spiritual discipline.  Worship, like prayer, should be viewed as being an unceasing response to God for who He is and what He’s done.  If our bodies are to be offered as living sacrifices, then that means that at any given point throughout the day, we are either worshipping God or we are not.

If you viewed worship as a lifestyle – not merely something you do while you’re singing in a service – what would change about the way you live and how you approach and think about worship?  Would you think more about how you treated others?  Or how you responded in certain situations?  Or even what activities filled your day?

Today, think about what it means to be a living sacrifice and worship God with all that you are!

When is a church a church?

This is a re-post of a blog article that I wrote  a couple of years ago.  It’s amazing how pertinent this subject and these questions still are for those of us in ministry and seeking a foundational change in the way that we define and “do” church.

A friend of mine sent me this blog post on church planting yesterday. It’s by far one of the most exciting and challenging articles I’ve read in recent months. It challenges a lot of my perceptions and assumptions about church planting, church leadership, and my definition of “church”.  God has really been stretching and growing me personally in so many ways and with so many of my assumptions where “church” and spiritual life and leadership are concerned. It’s also been helpful that I’ve been teaching a New Testament Survey class to several high schoolers at a local high school. It helps to contextualize the areas where God has been challenging me while I’m teaching others what the Bible says about those very things.

Click here for the post.

Questions to think about as and after you read this article:

1.) How would you define church? What are its core characteristics?

2.) How would you have answered this young couple’s questions? (i.e., Would you have discouraged them from continuing because they were not “trained” or “experienced” enough?  Would you have set a “leader” or “pastor” over them because you felt like they needed additional leadership or traning?)

3.) When is a group of people a church? How often should they meet?  What should happen as part of their gathering?

For further reading, see 1 Corinthians 12-14; Acts 2:42-46.  Also see Neil Cole’s book, Organic Church.