Every week the Church gathers to do the one thing that every congregation has in common: we worship Jesus Christ, the resurrected One.
But what is worship?
It is more than the songs we sing.
It is more than the prayer(s) we pray.
It more than the words the pastor speaks.
It is even more than all of those things put together.
I understand that every pastor and worship leader might have their own definitions of what worship is or is not. I am not here to dispute others and their definitions. There is more than one good definition of worship in the church world. I am taking the time to give you my perspective.
I see two components as it relates to our worship of Jesus.
Worship in itself is an act of surrender to someone who is smarter, better and more wonderful than we are. More than that, worship is an acknowledgment that we cede control of our lives to someone else (Jesus).
That sounds pretty straightforward but as you know that is a challenge to each and everyone one of us. We like to be in control. Even though God created us to worship Him, this is hard for us. We may worship but never surrender our lives to the Lord of all things. We might “enjoy” the music and the message but that doesn’t necessarily leads to a surrendered life where our God has the final say on the decisions we make. There has to be something more.
There is! Worship can help facilitate a surrendered life but it won’t do the spiritual work for you. Worship is the “environment” that can assist us in our spiritual growth but it is a not a magic spell that makes our wishes of greater devotion come true. Yet, if we don’t know the purpose of worship, how on earth do we expect anything out of it other than be entertained or bored? One out of every five attenders admitted that they had no idea what the most important outcome of worship is (in a national survey).
If we come to worship understanding that our very act of worship is submission to Christ and our hearts and minds are open to greater surrender… God will work on us and in us.
I said there were two components. Surrender is one of them. The second is what I do on Sunday morning at worship. My job is to help people enter into the presence of God at worship. I see myself as a conduit to help every worshipper make a connection with Jesus. I do not have the power to conjure God or make Him show up but I do have the ability to help people adjust their spiritual gaze toward Jesus so that they can connect with Him in a deeper way (surrender). I suppose I see myself like a docent or a guide to help people experience Jesus and His love.
I am reminded of Psalm 100:4 where it says, “Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”That is my job! To escort people to enter into the house God, through his gates and into his courts so that we may give thanks and worship Christ and his powerful name. This happens in so many different ways that I do not have time to share today.
Here is my promise to you: If you come to worship ready to more fully surrender your life, I promise to walk with you as we walk towards Christ together.