10 Signs You May Not Understand Worship

The volume or tempo of the music determines whether you think it’s a worship song.

A slight change in the order of the service makes you think they’ve harmed “worship”.

You think raising hands or not raising hands determines the depth of a person’s worship.

You believe the “proper” length of a “worship” service is dictated by your lunch schedule.

You think worship has to be in a service or part of a programmed event.

Certain instruments keep you from thinking worship is possible.

You think worship is confined to a certain place or a certain time.

The clothes you wear determines the quality of worship…for you AND others.

You think worship always involves music.

Your attempt to worship has more to do with a personal preference than the subject of worship.

Any additions?

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46 thoughts on “10 Signs You May Not Understand Worship

  1. A sign you may not understand worship is when you "can't worship" because you don't like the songs, the style, the personality of the leader, the volume, the atmosphere, the time of day, or any other element.

    If any external circumstance prevents you from being able to worship, you don't understand worship.

    Worship is response to God. Look at Paul and Silas after being beaten and thrown in jail – they worshiped, look at Job after losing everything – he worshiped.

    Thanks for this post Ron!

  2. I'm singing through the Bible for the 7th time. The first time I sang through the Bible, I was awakened by the Presence of the Lord hovering over my bed. My eyes still closed, I felt him wanting me to sing the Bible to him. I leapt out of bed, sat down at a table where I opened my Bible, and I could not sing, nor even read aloud his Word. I was looking through the Bible straight into the glory of God. I play 31 instruments, especially a harp as tall as I am that I built. It's not about music, and I do not worship worship. My heart melts in the heat of him like candle wax, he my light and life. We need to find new ways to exalt the Lord through the reading of the Word as music is played. We need to sing his Word. We need to see that he is the Word alive among us.
    Worship? No words, nor tears, are worthy praise for someone so great as he, my King, my Law, my very being, my Master, My friend, my mate in this world, and for all eternity, this Jesus.

  3. I'm singing through the Bible for the 7th time. The first time I sang through the Bible, I was awakened by the Presence of the Lord hovering over my bed. My eyes still closed, I felt him wanting me to sing the Bible to him. I leapt out of bed, sat down at a table where I opened my Bible, and I could not sing, nor even read aloud his Word. I was looking through the Bible straight into the glory of God. I play 31 instruments, especially a harp as tall as I am that I built. It's not about music, and I do not worship worship. My heart melts in the heat of him like candle wax, he my light and life. We need to find new ways to exalt the Lord through the reading of the Word as music is played. We need to sing his Word. We need to see that he is the Word alive among us._Worship? No words, nor tears, are worthy praise for someone so great as he, my King, my Law, my very being, my Master, My friend, my mate in this world, and for all eternity, this Jesus._

  4. The ONLY way to worship is in spirit and in truth. Jesus said in John 4 pros-koo-neh'-o
    (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, that is, (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore): – worship. The attitude here is in the heart. Like a dog licks the hand of his master, such a deep word used for worship and none had the settings of strobe lights, dimmed lights, fog machines or theatricals. A.W. Tozer has really good biblical insight on this. We as worship leaders are then challenged to take a hard look at the "way" we do worship. It'll rock our traditions. But we are accountable to God for it at the end.

  5. This is a good list but number one can be a little iffy. Sometimes people try to bring the world into the church. what i mean by this is that they use the same beat and tempo that a secular artist used, that blaspheme the name of God on the song, then we bring it in the church and put God on it and call it worship. You cant help but think of the world when you here. God deserves the best, not leftovers. We should sing to the Lord a new song. And like someone previously said, worship is not just music. No one is drawn to God by music, but the word of God is what transforms lives.

    • I disagree with that last point. God can, and frequently does, use music to draw people to Himself. As a musician, I've seen this happen countless times, both in my own life and in the lives of the people in our congregation.

      • I assume you mean the next to the last, but the key word there is “always”. Of course music draws people to worship. But, sometimes nature does too. Or silence. Or the Bible. Or….you get the idea.Music…absolutely. But, not ALWAYS music.Thanks

  6. I have nothing new to add to your list as that pretty much sums up how I feel. Am I bad? Have I missed the point where worship is concerned? do I have a problem because I can only feel close to God and worship when done in the tradition in which i was brought up? Am I wrong when I like the worship style that works for me? Because others may not like my style am I wrogn and they are right? Ohhhhh Pastor Ron, why do you tax my brain by making me think!

    • That's really true – even down to song selection. I think it is important to add new songs to reflect various dynamics for people to worship, but at the same time people identify with certain songs, and so you can't just neglect older songs in order to take on some freshness. I think if your congregation attaches itself to certain songs where you see people really enter in by the Spirit to worship the Lord then you can't just push those songs aside. It's a balancing act, but I agree – many people don't mind some repetition because those songs have meaning to them in relating to God.

      Also, how in the world did 'worship' become synonymous with 'music'? Worship to the Lord is my act of continual obedience to His progress of revelation to me, and my desire to submit to Him and become likened to Him.

  7. Honest question here: why do we relate the words “worship” and “music” so closely? Speaking biblically, the two are not mentioned simultaneously that often. In fact one of the very select times they are is where Daniel’s friends are asked to worship the false god when the music was played. While music is PART of our worship (definitely a demonstration of it), we have caused worship to equal music in our churches. Takes away from a LIFE of worship IMO. Thoughts?

  8. Ouch. Great list (including Caleb's comment)…Thank you Ron for 'keeping it real' in your posts; you never fail to give me a takeaway. Blessings.