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Summary: The introduction to a series on worship.

Worship Series

Sermon # 1

“What Is Worship?”

John 4:19-24

Today we begin a series of three messages on worship. Today we are going to examine, “What is Worship?” In the next message we are going to belooking at, “Is Giving A Part of Worship?” The following Sunday we will complete our study with, “Your Participation in Worship.”

This morning I want us to face four questions concerning worship?


I want you to close your eyes for a moment. Now what comes to your mind when I say the word, “WORSHIP.” For some of you it is the majestic sound of the organ sounding out one of the great hymns of the faith. For others it is the memory of standing in an open field at “One Day” with your hands raised, singing a modern praise and worship song. For some of you it produced a memory of the sound of thousands of men singing together at a “Promise Keepers” rally.

Some pictured pianos and organs, for others that picture expands to include guitars and drums. From some it is the sound of the old hymns that stir your heart, for others is the songs of groups like Third Day and “ .”

Did you notice that almost all of this discussion has focused on styles of music? But if I can be so bold, “The style of music does not determine whether or not you worshipped. In fact you can worship without any music.”

“Some of the purest forms of worship are found outside the walls of the church and have no reference to the God of all creation. All you have to do is drop in on a concert at that local arena or take in a sporting event at a nearby stadium to see amazing worship. People are going for it; lifting their hands, shouting with joy, … standing in awe, declaring their allegiance. Interestingly, those venues are filled with the same forms of worship mentioned in the pages of God’s word – the same expression of worship that God desires.” [Louie Giglio. The Air I Breathe. (Sisters: Oregon, Multnomah Pub., 2003) p. 12]

Did you know that according to George Barna the church statistician, “half of all church going adults say that they did not experience God’s presence in the last year. (THAT IS THEY DID NOT WORSHIP!) Two-thirds of the all church going adults cannot describe what worship is. Most Christians consider worship a secondary priority. A large majority think of worship as a Sunday morning event.” [George Barna. Seminar: Inward, Outward and Upward; Ministry that Transforms Lives. April 1999. p. 31}


Why Did You Come Here today? Many people come to church on Sunday for a time of spiritual refreshment. A time when the worries and concerns of the world, the struggle of the other six days of the week can be put aside and sense of peace can be regained. You have come to re-energize yourself, to gain strength from being in the presence of God with other believers and ready to go out into the world for another week.

Some of you came out of sense of duty. Coming to church is a part of your life and you just don’t feel right if you don’t do it. For some it is the one place in your life where there everything does seem to be in a turmoil.

Some of you came because you like the feeling of community, of being a part of something bigger and better than yourself. You appreciate being a part of something where you know you will be accepted, warts and all.

Some of you have come for less noble reasons. Some of you are here because your life is in a mess and you think maybe being here will score points with God. Some of you are here solely due to the insistence of your parents, your spouse or your children.

Although some of those reasons have merit, none of them should be our reason to be a worship service. There is a huge difference between attending church and coming to worship. We should have come here today quite simply to worship. Because you are a worshipper.“Everyday, all day long, in every place you worship. It is what you do. It’s who you are…. Should you for some reason choose not to give God what he desires, you’ll worship anyway – simply exchanging the Creator for something he created…. Worship is our response to what we value the most…. Whatever is worth the most to you is …. - what you worship…. So how do you know where and what you worship? It’s easy. You simply follow the trail of your time, your affection, your energy, your money and your allegiance. At the end of that trail you’ll find a throne; and whatever, or whomever is on that throne is what’s of highest value to you. On that throne is what you worship.” [Giglio. pp. 9-11]

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