Greetings to all my friends in blogland! Today I am very excited to kick off the first in a five-part series titled, "Why Should We Worship Jesus?" Last month it came to me that as participants in various types of music ministries, we often use the word worship interchangeably with other terms. For example, worship service, worship music, a time of worship, etc. But exactly why should we worship Jesus? And how does worship affect each of our respective ministries? Come along with me as we explore worship and how it is vital to our calling.
Why Should We Worship Jesus? (Part 1) by Nathan Kesler
What Worship Is Not
We will define what worship is but we must first define what worship is not. This is because there is a tendency among some Christians to define worship too narrowly and thereby overlook the fullness of what worship is according to scripture. First, worship is not something solely by Christians or "spiritual" people. Rather, because everyone was made to worship God, everyone is in fact a worshiper whether or not he or she has any religious or spiritual devotion.
Second, worship is not merely a style of music. In conversation I often classify Christian music by genre. For example, I refer to albums by Hillsong as 'contemporary praise and worship', an album by Selah as 'traditional praise and worship', a Gaither Homecoming album as 'southern gospel' and a Ricky Dillard album as 'black gospel'. But in reality a song from any genre of Christian music is essentially worship music - only arranged and presented in different venues and contexts. If you have been involved in church ministry for any length of time you undoubtedly have witnessed spirited debates between those promoting one style of Christian music over another, usually in the context of corporate singing. Sadly, such conflicts can reduce the concept of worship to little more than a style of music or preferred kinds of instrumental accompaniment. When the Bible speaks of worship, it does include God's people gathering to sing praises to God (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16), but worship is also something much bigger than simply singing or musical tastes.
Third, worship is not something that is connected to a time and place. In John chapter four there is a discussion between Jesus and a woman who is uncertain of where and when worship is to occur. Jesus responds to her by stating that worship is an ongoing, unbroken life of communion with God empowered by the Holy Ghost and informed by the truth. Therefore, while worship does happen in specific places at specific times, such as Sunday services at a church building, worship is not limited to any time or place. Rather, worship is to exist as a ceaseless lifestyle of God's people in every time and every place.
Fourth, worship is not something that starts and stops. Church worship services may start and stop but the worshipful life of a Christian is to continue unceasingly. As has been said, if you will not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him one day a week.
Stay tuned for my next post in this series. Now that we have discussed what worship is not we will discuss what worship is.