LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Worship - My Way? Your Way? God's Way?

KidPray

We've been having an interesting discussion going for a couple weeks. I suggested that a certain artistic element in a service brought me to a place of worship. Others weren't so sure.

Some were quick to point out what worship is not. Yet they wouldn't tell me what it is.

I was told by some commenters that only God defines worship. Yet they also told me that my experience with worship wasn't right, it wasn't really worship. And yet God defines it?

One person said that worship isn't about music or lyrics. God must be worshipped in Spirit. And yet for some reason my admission that I was taken to a place of worship (spirit) wasn't valid in his eyes.

And one individual chose to quote Humpty Dumpty. Not sure what I'm supposed to do with that.

The truth is, much of what these commenters say is true, but I wonder if they may have filters on that blind them from their own traditionalism and church baggage. I know sometimes I do.

Worship is a personal thing. You can't look at someone in a worship service who is singing praise songs and lifting their hands and know for sure that they are worshiping. It is a heart issue. They might be thinking about a recipe for lasagna.

You also can't look at someone who stays seated in a worship service (while everyone else is standing), arms folded, staring straight ahead, not participating...and know that they are not worshiping.

A few years back I was with a friend in Vienna and we walked into St. Stephen's Cathedral. His eyes instantly filled with tears as the majesty and history of the building brought him to a place of awe about the majesty of God. I stood there thinking about the architecture and construction process. For my friend, it was worship. For me, it was not.

For some, spending time in nature makes them aware of the awesomeness of their God. For others, standing at the base of a skyscraper in New York City does the same thing. For many, a church service filled with praise songs about God will usher them into the presence of God. For me, that rarely does it. But the excellence of a musician playing their instrument without words--it makes me so aware of the amazing splendor of our Creator God.

What is it for you? When are you most aware of God and all that He is?