Worship, More Than Music

This blog is the introduction to a four-part series entitled Making Sense of Worship. By Justin Gray

 

I’ve noticed something recently…and maybe you’ve noticed it too. Quite often following the services in my local church, I typically hear one of the following statements:

“Worship was so good today!”

“Worship was too short; I wish we had more time…”

“The sermon was good, but I didn’t like worship.”

In every case, the word “worship” is used as if it’s interchangeable with “music” or “songs” during the church service. In all honesty, I’ve found myself making some of the same statements. Knowing this prompted me to take a closer look at why we make this association and how we may better understand the true meaning of worship.

Making Worship in Our Own Image

As a musical person, when I open my eyes, I see the world through the artistic lens of lyric, melody, and rhythm. There’s a song around every corner. I find myself tapping my fingers to the cadence of the windshield wipers on a rainy day. I hear the hum of the A/C unit and try to find a harmony part that works (yes, I realize this is weird…I can’t help it).

I usually can’t listen to a sermon, watch a movie, or read a book without jotting down (or taking mental note) of a song title, catch phrase, or musical concept. It’s how I’m wired. And I’m prone to worship in the way that I’m wired.

However, I realize that not everyone was made this way. And I have the difficult task — as we all do — of remaining true to who God created me to be while, at the same time, not reinterpreting the worship of Him based upon my own inclinations.

And herein lies the issue: when we make statements like “I didn’t like worship,” we unknowingly pick up our brush of bias and paint with broad strokes on the canvas of church culture.

(I say this with all humility, recognizing that my guilt is evident by the colored stains of bias beneath my own fingernails.) So what’s a guy or gal like me to do? Well, I’ve tried to read the Bible and some stuff from people way smarter than me to hopefully make more sense of this concept of worship.

Over the next few weeks we will explore this topic with the goal of sorting through our personal, cultural, and biblical understanding of worship.

Reflection

Apart from music, in what ways do you worship God?

Do you ever get distracted by your worship preferences?