When did worship become synonymous with music? God created each of us to worship Him with our lives. It is the purpose of our being. When we gather at a church, it is true we go there to worship God corporately. But that worship is the entire service, not just the portion with musicians leading everyone in song. The very act of coming together in unity is worshipping God because we are obeying what He tells us to do.
When we listen to a sermon, we are worshipping God by meditating on His Word. Welcoming visitors to our gathering is worship because it brings glory to God. We worship God by contributing a portion of what He has entrusted to us into the offering. Every part of the service should be a form of worship to our great King.
We’ve lost sight of this over the years. Instead of our attitude towards God defining our worship, it has become the music or musicians that are now identified with worship. It shouldn’t be this way. We are missing the point of worship if we relegate it to such a small box and see it as something only a small group of people do. God expects worship from every part of His creation (Luke 19:36-40), not just a gifted and select few. When we only see the music portion of a church service as worship, we are robbing God of glory and ourselves of untold blessings. When we tune our hearts to His, every moment of every day can become worship, and no band is required.
As megachurches have come to dominate the landscape of America, we seem to drift even further from a true heart of worship. The music of the church was once theologically rich and helped prepare one’s heart with respect and awe of our Creator. Yes, sometimes we even trembled at His holiness. Now the trend seems to be more about performance and singing songs that make us feel better about ourselves. This isn’t worship, it is entertainment.
I am a songwriter and musician whose preferences lean toward the very heavy side of rock music. So, I am not saying this as someone who has just gotten too old and doesn’t like the music of the church these days. I am all about amazing, loud, and well-performed music. But not at the expense of worship, and certainly not as a replacement for worship.
There is still something very special about gathering with other Christians each week. Being in the presence of others who love the Lord is uplifting to the soul. It is a breath of fresh air in a world polluted with sin. We come together to worship our Lord Jesus Christ and celebrate His birth, death, and resurrection. We worship Him because He is Holy. We fear Him for the same reason. In the end, we know all our hope is in Jesus. Without Him, we are lost. Only because of His love and sacrifice can we be saved.
We need no other reason to fall on our faces and worship Him. We can do it in silence. We can do it alone. Or we can do it together, praying, and even singing. But the singing is not the worship. The worship comes from our hearts and we must never confuse true worship with manufactured emotion. True worship is understanding who we are and who Jesus is. We are weak, but He is strong. We are lost, but in Him, we are found. Worship God with all your heart and with all your life. This is the true heart of worship.