Worshiping Together

We are in the middle of our new series entitled “life: living as the body”. This week we’ll be preaching on Romans 12 and I will be preaching on the importance of worshiping together. As part of my message I have been grappling with a working definition of worship. I’d love to have input from those of you who attend Frederick and those of you who do not. I’ll insert my working definition below and you feel free to critique it and offer your definitions as well.

“Worship is a sacrificial expression of our love for, and dedication to, God which seeks to reflect His glory and proclaim His truth.”

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

14 thoughts on “Worshiping Together

  1. What works for me is the picture Strong’s paints of the word “proskuneo” .. fawning over, prostrate, as a dog licking its master’s hand.

    That comes for me in times of silence or in singing, as long as that’s the state of heart I’m striving for. That of adoring my Master.

  2. Quite a few years ago I heard Voddie Baucham speak on the topic of worship. He got his definition from one of his Oxford profs I believe and it stuck with me. – “Worship is turning our mind’s attention and heart’s affection toward God, praising him for who he is and for what he has done.”

    Did you get the email I sent a couple days ago? Catch you later man.

  3. I’ve been thinking about the Regulative Principle lately, and I am inclined in that direction. I’ve been involved in an in-depth Bible study on the tabernacle, and God was incredibly specific about how everything should be. Wouldn’t He be just as concerned about how we worship Him? But I guess that has more to do with the “how” than the “what” question.

  4. Dennis-

    That’s a good thought, and one I’ve considered. As you can guess, I’m not inclined in that direction mainly because it appears to me to be a philosophical argument, or even an argument from silence, rather than an argument grounded in biblical exegesis.

  5. I don’t remember where I first heard this, but it stuck.

    Worship is climbing out of yourself and getting into God.

    What you have is fine considering it fits what you are going to preach. I’m not really sure if there is one definition that encompasses the whole of “worship”. It depends on what you are trying to communicate to your listeners.

  6. Psalm 95 expresses true worship. “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before HIS presence with thanksgiving: Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Then in verse 6 it says let us worship and bow down.

    This psalm invites us to sing and to pray. Our hearts should be filled with thanksgiving and praise for Him. We are His creatures and He is our Creator. All people, even the unbeliever owes God thanksgiving and praise (even though he might not realize it) Romans 1:18-21.
    Worship is also listening. True worship demands that we listen to God’s voice as well. If we do not hear His voice then our hearts become hardened. We eventually become unable to listen, to learn, to grow and change.
    At the end of psalm 95 it says if are hearts aren’t filled with thanksgiving and praise and we don’t listen then we will not have His rest. We will always be unsettled. Our hearts SHOULD be filled with joy because we serve a great and mighty and loving God!
    That’s true worship to me!

  7. My worship professor, Don Whitney, defined worship like this:

    Worship is focusing on and responding to God in spirit and in truth.

    To completely unpack that statement took a full semester.

  8. Tom-

    Those are good thoughts. The only problem that I would have, in regards to my definition, is that it seems to limit worship to the act of a “worship service”. I want to convey that worship is something more than what happens in that specific time during the week and that it represents what we do in all of life.

  9. Ton-

    I too enjoyed Dr. Whitney and enjoyed that definition. I can also completely appreciate the fact that it took the entire semester to unpack that statement. Those classes with Dr. Whitney were priceless, in my opinion.

  10. Hey Micah,
    “Any attempt to express to God our understanding of His worth.” It will always be inadequate, It will always fall short, but the fact that we continually find ways to recognize God in every aspect of our being and give him honor for it, is worship.

  11. Micah,
    I am assuming you are focusing more on corporate worship vs private worship. In my mind, corporate worship is “Experiencing God as a group by acknowledging the greatness of God in who He is, What He has done and His creation, which includes one another.” It is hard, in my opinion, to experience God in corporate worship when you hold a grudge against God for what He has or has not done OR when you have something against another brother or sister in Christ. Part of what I believe it means to be a living sacrifice is to be rightly related to God and other believers.

  12. Micah, I’m hoping that thanksgiving, praise, praying and listening to God take places each day and every day in the life of Christians. If that takes place just at a “worship service” then we’ve got issues……………………

  13. Tom-

    I agree with you. I think, though, that I’m trying to come up with a definition that will help everyone to see Paul’s point from 1 Corinthians 10:31 that all things can be done to glorify God, or to worship Him. I want people to understand that they can worship God while working, playing, or anything else that they are doing. I want people to understand that worship is more than just what we may have typically thought of when thinking of worship.

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