Summary: This series focuses on our need to enter into true worship of God.
Worship Is A Verb Part 1
Many years ago when I was elementary school, we learned to diagram sentences. I am not sure if they still do that today, but when I was in school we had to and I hated it. The first thing you had to know in order to diagram a sentence was the difference between a noun and a verb. A noun is a word that denotes a person, place or thing. (Are you starting to have flashbacks yet?) A verb is a word that expresses an action, existence or occurrence. So to diagram a sentence, you had to know the basic differences between a noun and a verb. There were a whole lot of other things you had to know but since they are not necessary for this message, I will not take you through them which make life much easier for me. When I diagrammed sentences in school, there were times when I got confused on some words that I thought were nouns but were actually verbs. The teacher had to explain to me why I was wrong which sometimes I accepted her answer and other times I said “okay” while thinking the teacher was wrong and I was right. Well this morning is one of those times. You see, we treat the term “worship” as if it were a noun when it is actually a verb. This series of messages for the next few weeks will focus on worship being a verb and not a noun.
Worship is defined as “a service or rite showing reverence for a deity; intense love or admiration; a title of honor.” In the first two definitions it clearly demonstrates that worship is an action and that will be my focus. So let us take a step through the doors of the average Church where Christians go to “worship”.
I. Going to Worship Service
On any given Sunday morning or evening, you will find masses of people going to Church; going to a “worship” service. They get up, get dressed and head to Church. When they walk into the building, they know what to expect. They know there will be some form of opening comments, followed by some music, a sermon, an offering and finally a benediction. The services are so routine that the people go on auto pilot as soon as they walk in. There is not real expectation of God moving within the service and very little worship of God actually takes place. I know some of you may be wondering how I can make this statement that very little worship of God happens in many Church services, but just hang with me and you will begin to understand. Remember what I said earlier, worship is a verb meaning that it is an action. To worship God means you are doing something, you are taking an action. Now I would agree that you getting up in the morning and actually coming to Church is an action, but that is not worship. Although you took an action to get to Church, that does not qualify as worshipping God. The average person comes into the doors of the Church expecting to be served. They expect a sermon; they expect the choir to sing a few songs; they expect an offering to be taken up and they expect that the benediction will be right on time. All of these things are needed within a Church, but they do not necessarily represent worship. Worship is what we do to God.
We have a format that we follow in our Church services that you are all familiar with, but not everything that we do is “worship”. For example, the reading or announcements is not “worship” but the way we take up our offering could be. The deliverance of the sermon is not worship although it’s purpose is to “over time” help everyone come to the point of desiring to worship God. Our altar call may or may not be worship depending on its purpose. For example, if the prayer is a prayer of praise and thanksgiving only, then it can be considered worship. If the prayer is focused on our asking God for something for ourselves or for someone else, then it is probably not worship. You see, when we use the term worship, it is about something that we are doing to God, not “for” God. I do not come to Church for God, I come to worship God. So if the average member comes to Church and just participate in the flow of the program, can that be considered “worship”? I do not believe so in its truest terms. Worship is personal and must be individualized. Although we have a corporate service (meaning we are all together) our worship of God is individualized based on what we do at any given moment.