By Grant Norsworthy
What does it mean to worship God?
In Christian culture, we most often use the word “worship” to describe when a group of believers sing songs to and about God. Sure, we might use the word from time to time to mean more than that, but the majority of the times people say or hear the word “worship” it convinces us that “worship” is a very defined, primarily musical activity that is conducted only at certain times and in specific ways.
“The flood of careless, unconsidered, cheap words is the greatest enemy of the profound word.” Stephen L. Talbott
But I believe that this un-thoughtful, even flippant use of the word “worship” blinds us to the wider, all-encompassing nature of true worship. (For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, check out my vlog “The Word ‘Worship’ Is a Verb, Not an Adjective!” from September 8th 2015).
In its almost-lost and original meaning, the word “worship” simply means to ascribe worth or value to something. And so, to worship God is to show the value of God. The true worshiper will recognize that the opportunity to show the worth of God – this amazing, gracious, loving and almighty God – is in every moment of every day. Not just certain “switch on” then “switch off” moments designated by certain times of the week, activities and locations.
“Changes in language often reflect the changing values of a culture.” ― Ravi Zacharias
Hey, our music is good … but it’s not that good.
While the music God has given us is very effective at helping us gather together to connect with God and to express his value, I’m convinced that “worship” – or ascribing worth to God – must involve much more than singing songs to God in a gathering of believers. Singing praises to God is just ONE of the ways of ascribing worth to God. The true worship of God should not switch on when we start singing on Sunday morning and switch off when we leave the church building. Our language ought to reflect this imperative of the Christian faith.
“Just as ministry needs to be ‘ON’ all the time, I’m realizing that my worship shouldn’t be switching on and off either. My opportunity to worship God or show the worth of God is 24 [hours a day], 7 [days a week], 365 [days a year] or 366 [days in a leap year]. It’s not just when I’m in a church building singing songs to God – as much as I love doing that, as important as that is.”
Watch this 1 min 21 sec vlog here (link to YouTube video) as I discussed this question in a recent interview with legendary Nashville artist manager Mike Smith.
This video excerpt was recorded as part of Mike’s online artist management course.
More info from michaelsmithandassociates.com