What is worship? Is it just something we go to once a week, or possibly less? Is it something that you watch, as a spectator would? Is it something that you go to like a sporting event or a concert, looking to see how your emotions are changed, your needs are met?
My answer to that is that for some people, the answer is yes.
But I have to ask – is it worth it if that’s all worship is for you?
Why do you worship? What impact does it have on your life? How does it change you? Does it create an opportunity to encounter Jesus and have your life changed?
During the conference I was at last week, I heard the following statement:
Worship is a way of life, not something you go to and leave at the door on Sunday.
I love that statement. It sums up a theology of worship. Worship isn’t something you go to. It is a way of living.
St. Francis of Assisi was quoted as saying:
Pray without ceasing. And if you have to, use words.
Francis understood that worship goes far beyond just being in a church building.
Christianity isn’t a spectator sport. It’s a way of living. There is no off time for it. You don’t get to silo it or compartmentalized it to an hour-long time once a week and then go and do whatever you want to do.
Jesus wanted disciples, not spectators. I think the church does a disservice to itself if it focuses on just getting people to worship and not doing what Jesus called us to do – make disciples.
The sooner our churches move away from spectator worship and towards discipleship, the better we will be. Jesus wanted followers, not spectators. Jesus wanted people’s whole lives, not just a little time here and there when the schedule worked out.
Worship is an extension of discipleship and ministry. It also drives us out to do more ministry and discipleship.
This is what worship is to me.