Tag Archives | defining worship

To Worship or To Lead – Is That the Question?

I’m hoping to follow a similar format each week for this blog. On Mondays I’ll be sharing a devotional, from Scripture or some other source, that will focus on our hearts. If you lead a music team these might be great to share with your group. Tuesday through Thursday I’ll be typically focusing on some theme, although I also plan to do book/article/CD/song/website reviews as well. Of course, since it’s my blog, I might do something totally different. (I’m sure this is helping you.) On Fridays, I’ll take time to respond to a question I’ve received either through e-mail on on the blog comments. This first question is from Phil. “I attended an …

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Expanding Our Worship Vocabulary

Having looked at a few definitions of worship (although I realize I’m barely scratching the surface), I wanted to offer some practical ideas for changing the way we talk about worship. Some of these are so ingrained in our vocabulary, I feel radical even suggesting them. 1. When using “worship” as a verb, include the direct object. (My apologies to those of you who thought you’d never have to think about grammar again.) We aren’t simply gathering to worship – we’re worshipping the Father, our merciful God, our great Redeemer, etc. So, “I love to worship!” becomes, “I love to worship the Savior!” “Let’s worship!” …

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Why Define Worship?

Why spend time defining worship? Is it really that big a deal? Isn’t it more important that we simply do it? It’s hard for us to know whether or not we’re doing something if we’re not sure what that “something” is. If I define “eating” as simply looking at food, you wouldn’t enjoy coming over to my house to “eat.” If “breathing” is something I only do when I get with a group of people on Sunday mornings, then how do I describe what I do the rest of the time? I heard theologian David Peterson say that defining words is important because not only do we use words, but words use us. That’s true, even if we’re unaware …

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Defining Worship, Pt. 4

I’d like to unpack one more definition of worship today, keeping in mind that we’ll never exhaust the meaning and wonder of worshipping our Creator and Redeemer, even in eternity. Biblical worship is God’s covenant people recognizing, reveling in, and responding rightly to the glory of God in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Biblical worship…to separate what we do as Christians from all other types of worship. This also implies that God is the One who determines how we should worship Him. (Jn. 4:23-24) Is God’s covenant people…God’s plan from the beginning of creation has been to redeem a people for his own possession …

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Defining Worship, Pt. 3

Yesterday I suggested two definitions for worship. Today, I’ll unpack the first. “Christian worship is the response of God’s redeemed people to His self-revelation that exalts God’s glory in Christ in our minds, affections, and wills, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Christian worship…is different from every kind of worship because it has been made possible through Jesus Christ. (Rev. 5:9-10) Is the response…God has already done something outside of us and inside of us that enables us to worship Him. We are not the initiators of worship; God is. (Acts 17:24-31) Of God’s redeemed people…Just as God delivered the nation …

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Defining Worship, Pt. 2

One of the pieces of advice my friends gave me before I started a blog was “Whatever you do, don’t make it too long. People don’t like scrolling down.” I’m sure that some of my entries will be VERY short, but this probably won’t be one of them. Yesterday I shared some definitions of worship that I’ve found helpful, starting with the general and moving to the more specific. Here are some more that I think do a great job of incorporating what’s important in biblical worship. First, from Ralph Martin: Christian worship, then, is the happy blend of offering to God our Creator and Redeemer through Jesus Christ both what we owe to Him and what we …

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Defining Worship, Pt. 1

Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) once said “Every definition is dangerous.” That may explain why when we try to define a word simply and precisely we often end up missing significant aspects of the word we’re defining. Attempts at explaining worship as “love,” or “intimacy,” or “relationship” say something true, but end up leaving out more than they contribute to our understanding of worship. In spite of Erasmus’ warning, over the years I’ve come across numerous definitions of “worship” that have caused me think about worship more biblically. Harold Best, in his book Music Through the Eyes of Faith, defines worship in the broadest …

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