Worship Mythbusters: dispelling popular notions that get in the way of authentic worship [1.3]

WMB 1.3 — Another bit of rewind with more developed thoughts.  Remember, we are talking about the context of “corporate worship” not just the idea of worship. This is part of a series here.

MYTH:  Worship is a lifestyle

The pendulum has swung where in the praise and worship movement of the 80s prophetic voices were rightly calling us to value the concept of worship outside of our liturgy.  You have to live on Monday what you sing or say on Sunday. That was the original intent of this phrase and I whole heartedly agree with it.  Our lives must be completely about worship.  I get it and support that notion.   However, today I see some in our Christian sub-culture use this phrase incorrectly.  It is spun as an excuse to devalue the mystery and power in corporate worship by thinking everything else is worship, so they excuse themselves from the need to come to a church or service.  We know from Hebrews that we should not forsake gathering together. (Hebrews 10:25)

Better said, “Worship is something special I do.” I cannot claim brushing my teeth for Jesus is worship.  Worship must cost me something.  I live as a worshipper who shows this by literal “acts” of worship that may be small or big, but are separate for this very purpose.  This is why the weekly gathering is so important–a separate time for the purpose of giving to God His worth.  What do you do that is separate from the mundane to express your devotion or worship to God?

Worship is not something you simply wear.  Worship is more than that. It is not just all the common things we do with a good heart, it is something holy or separate.  It is actually something.  Disco is a lifestyle, being a follower or worshiper of Jesus demands more than that.  It demands a sacrifice.  A sacrifice takes intent, cost and action. It is more like getting a tattoo rather than putting on your team’s jersey.  If I am a fan who tattoos, I am making a commitment and separating myself from being a fan of any other team.  I can always switch a jersey.

In the same way, this phrase has been used to say that everything else besides this separate act of coming together on Sundays is worship. Really, if worship is everything then it is nothing.  It has to be something.  Worship cannot live as an idea or only stay in the mundane places of my life.  I also need to be willing to create a space to act out and express my devotion that is separate and holy to God.

As a married man, I bring that marriage value in every decision I make. It does not mean that wearing a ring makes me married. I have to share the bed with my wife, tell her I love her and be active in seeking and building that. Corporate worship is like what we as people do to our spouses. We have some things that are sacred, separate and holy that we save and give only to our spouse. As a worshiper, I save Sunday and come with thought, intent and sacredness to an event where I can “practice” worship.

This practice of worship is about me worshiping and expressing that worship (literally means giving God worth). The sounds, smells, environment and special nature of the event really matter. Brushing my teeth is not worship. Coming to church with something to bring or sacrifice is.

Sometimes we use some of these phrases to devalue the corporate worship gathering. We think we come to hear a sermon and sing songs or feel something. Really, it is about encountering God, since He is glorified by being revealed and acknowledged for who He is and what He has done.

We let ourselves off the hook too often and come ill prepared week after week and wonder why the service does little for us–partly because we think worship is everything else that is not sacred and forget the sacred. So, make worship something you do in time and space, not just randomness.  God deserves the effort and excellence of our presence at a special regular gathering that’s an act of intentional sacrifice for Him.

Share:
Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

36 comments

  1. I love it, I think though that the danger with this idea is that some people will go to an extreme and only be Sunday Christians, which might be the case a lot of the time anyway. I think we need to be careful about how people will take it, but I think only someone who is reading it and not thinking through the issue would take it that way.

  2. I love it, I think though that the danger with this idea is that some people will go to an extreme and only be Sunday Christians, which might be the case a lot of the time anyway. I think we need to be careful about how people will take it, but I think only someone who is reading it and not thinking through the issue would take it that way.

  3. I love it, I think though that the danger with this idea is that some people will go to an extreme and only be Sunday Christians, which might be the case a lot of the time anyway. I think we need to be careful about how people will take it, but I think only someone who is reading it and not thinking through the issue would take it that way.

  4. I love it, I think though that the danger with this idea is that some people will go to an extreme and only be Sunday Christians, which might be the case a lot of the time anyway. I think we need to be careful about how people will take it, but I think only someone who is reading it and not thinking through the issue would take it that way.

  5. As you know already… Love this series. How many more you got?
    Totally agree, there is a big difference between corporate worship and how we worship with our lives.

  6. As you know already… Love this series. How many more you got?
    Totally agree, there is a big difference between corporate worship and how we worship with our lives.

  7. As you know already… Love this series. How many more you got?
    Totally agree, there is a big difference between corporate worship and how we worship with our lives.

  8. As you know already… Love this series. How many more you got?
    Totally agree, there is a big difference between corporate worship and how we worship with our lives.

  9. Great distinction man -I still run into people who believe “worship=music” and that only that small hour when I sing on Sunday is worship to God. Like giving my tithe or actively listening to the sermon and applying it to my life isn’t worship? Or like helping widows and orphans on Tuesday isn’t worship?

    I like your point that there’s still a need for corporate worship. Just because I worship God by serving in food kitchen on Wednesday doesn’t mean I should avoid ever going to a Sunday morning gathering.

    I believe that type of attitude is actually detrimental to one’s faith.

  10. Great distinction man -I still run into people who believe “worship=music” and that only that small hour when I sing on Sunday is worship to God. Like giving my tithe or actively listening to the sermon and applying it to my life isn’t worship? Or like helping widows and orphans on Tuesday isn’t worship?

    I like your point that there’s still a need for corporate worship. Just because I worship God by serving in food kitchen on Wednesday doesn’t mean I should avoid ever going to a Sunday morning gathering.

    I believe that type of attitude is actually detrimental to one’s faith.

  11. Great distinction man -I still run into people who believe “worship=music” and that only that small hour when I sing on Sunday is worship to God. Like giving my tithe or actively listening to the sermon and applying it to my life isn’t worship? Or like helping widows and orphans on Tuesday isn’t worship?

    I like your point that there’s still a need for corporate worship. Just because I worship God by serving in food kitchen on Wednesday doesn’t mean I should avoid ever going to a Sunday morning gathering.

    I believe that type of attitude is actually detrimental to one’s faith.

  12. Great distinction man -I still run into people who believe “worship=music” and that only that small hour when I sing on Sunday is worship to God. Like giving my tithe or actively listening to the sermon and applying it to my life isn’t worship? Or like helping widows and orphans on Tuesday isn’t worship?

    I like your point that there’s still a need for corporate worship. Just because I worship God by serving in food kitchen on Wednesday doesn’t mean I should avoid ever going to a Sunday morning gathering.

    I believe that type of attitude is actually detrimental to one’s faith.

  13. what if I’m fasting while listening to worship music and brushing my teeth? huh?
    just kidding.

    I think that we use this “worship with our lives” thought to kind of ease everything. It’s easier to say everything can be worship than to actually pinpoint each and every area in our life where sacrifice is necessary.

    and yes! Corporate worship is prominent! Brushing are teeth can’t be the only time when we worship!

  14. what if I’m fasting while listening to worship music and brushing my teeth? huh?
    just kidding.

    I think that we use this “worship with our lives” thought to kind of ease everything. It’s easier to say everything can be worship than to actually pinpoint each and every area in our life where sacrifice is necessary.

    and yes! Corporate worship is prominent! Brushing are teeth can’t be the only time when we worship!

  15. what if I’m fasting while listening to worship music and brushing my teeth? huh?
    just kidding.

    I think that we use this “worship with our lives” thought to kind of ease everything. It’s easier to say everything can be worship than to actually pinpoint each and every area in our life where sacrifice is necessary.

    and yes! Corporate worship is prominent! Brushing are teeth can’t be the only time when we worship!

  16. what if I’m fasting while listening to worship music and brushing my teeth? huh?
    just kidding.

    I think that we use this “worship with our lives” thought to kind of ease everything. It’s easier to say everything can be worship than to actually pinpoint each and every area in our life where sacrifice is necessary.

    and yes! Corporate worship is prominent! Brushing are teeth can’t be the only time when we worship!

  17. You’re right. Something that most likely started as a wakeup call to the substance of worship has somehow turned into a weak definition of worship and more likely an excuse for a self serving life style. The reason we can be the “true worshipers” of John 4:23 is because of the implications of Gal 2:20. Worship is more than a life style… it’s a life replacement! It’s not about me anymore, it’s all about Christ. The reason I don’t cheat on my taxes is the same reason I take communion. Christ is primary!
    Why would a worshiper ever want to miss out on Sunday morning worship?!! How awesome is it, after a week of battling in a world that is completely contrary to a true life of worship, to come together with other worshipers and with one voice affirm with each other who Christ is and the amazing changes He is making in our lives… If I could only know the stories of each person standing in the congregation singing, “blessed be the name of the Lord” I would weep every Sunday… and leave there charged up and determined to take up my cross another week.

  18. You’re right. Something that most likely started as a wakeup call to the substance of worship has somehow turned into a weak definition of worship and more likely an excuse for a self serving life style. The reason we can be the “true worshipers” of John 4:23 is because of the implications of Gal 2:20. Worship is more than a life style… it’s a life replacement! It’s not about me anymore, it’s all about Christ. The reason I don’t cheat on my taxes is the same reason I take communion. Christ is primary!
    Why would a worshiper ever want to miss out on Sunday morning worship?!! How awesome is it, after a week of battling in a world that is completely contrary to a true life of worship, to come together with other worshipers and with one voice affirm with each other who Christ is and the amazing changes He is making in our lives… If I could only know the stories of each person standing in the congregation singing, “blessed be the name of the Lord” I would weep every Sunday… and leave there charged up and determined to take up my cross another week.

  19. You’re right. Something that most likely started as a wakeup call to the substance of worship has somehow turned into a weak definition of worship and more likely an excuse for a self serving life style. The reason we can be the “true worshipers” of John 4:23 is because of the implications of Gal 2:20. Worship is more than a life style… it’s a life replacement! It’s not about me anymore, it’s all about Christ. The reason I don’t cheat on my taxes is the same reason I take communion. Christ is primary!
    Why would a worshiper ever want to miss out on Sunday morning worship?!! How awesome is it, after a week of battling in a world that is completely contrary to a true life of worship, to come together with other worshipers and with one voice affirm with each other who Christ is and the amazing changes He is making in our lives… If I could only know the stories of each person standing in the congregation singing, “blessed be the name of the Lord” I would weep every Sunday… and leave there charged up and determined to take up my cross another week.

  20. You’re right. Something that most likely started as a wakeup call to the substance of worship has somehow turned into a weak definition of worship and more likely an excuse for a self serving life style. The reason we can be the “true worshipers” of John 4:23 is because of the implications of Gal 2:20. Worship is more than a life style… it’s a life replacement! It’s not about me anymore, it’s all about Christ. The reason I don’t cheat on my taxes is the same reason I take communion. Christ is primary!
    Why would a worshiper ever want to miss out on Sunday morning worship?!! How awesome is it, after a week of battling in a world that is completely contrary to a true life of worship, to come together with other worshipers and with one voice affirm with each other who Christ is and the amazing changes He is making in our lives… If I could only know the stories of each person standing in the congregation singing, “blessed be the name of the Lord” I would weep every Sunday… and leave there charged up and determined to take up my cross another week.

  21. New topic for you,Worship Mythbusters: Loud music is not conducive to worshiping our creator.

  22. New topic for you,Worship Mythbusters: Loud music is not conducive to worshiping our creator.

  23. New topic for you,Worship Mythbusters: Loud music is not conducive to worshiping our creator.

  24. New topic for you,Worship Mythbusters: Loud music is not conducive to worshiping our creator.

  25. You’ve articulated what I have been thinking for a while, Rich. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve really come to understand what “God inhabits the praise of His people” really means. Sure, he values our isolated prayers (even while brushing our teeth), but he truly dwells where his people our lifting up His praises. We can only do that when we make the conscious effort to get ourselves there mentally, spiritually, and physically.

  26. You’ve articulated what I have been thinking for a while, Rich. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve really come to understand what “God inhabits the praise of His people” really means. Sure, he values our isolated prayers (even while brushing our teeth), but he truly dwells where his people our lifting up His praises. We can only do that when we make the conscious effort to get ourselves there mentally, spiritually, and physically.

  27. You’ve articulated what I have been thinking for a while, Rich. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve really come to understand what “God inhabits the praise of His people” really means. Sure, he values our isolated prayers (even while brushing our teeth), but he truly dwells where his people our lifting up His praises. We can only do that when we make the conscious effort to get ourselves there mentally, spiritually, and physically.

  28. You’ve articulated what I have been thinking for a while, Rich. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve really come to understand what “God inhabits the praise of His people” really means. Sure, he values our isolated prayers (even while brushing our teeth), but he truly dwells where his people our lifting up His praises. We can only do that when we make the conscious effort to get ourselves there mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Leave a Reply