The word "worship" is often thrown out in generality these days. And in the void of substance, preconceived notions about what worship is slowly encroach on the true definition. These assumptions subtly skew our vision of what worship truly is. That's why it's important to understand what worship is not. Especially if we are worship leaders - we should know what worship is and isn't!
Here are 5 things that aren't worship:
1 | Worship isn't a slow song
Styles of songs do not dictate whether something is worship. Slow songs can be worshipful. Upbeat songs can be worshipful. Dare I even say Christian metal bands can be worshipful?
2 | Worship isn't a feeling
Have you ever gotten that "feeling?" You know the one I'm talking about? When the pad fades in and the worship leader starts praying in a whispered, hushed voice? In those moments, that feeling of worship sinks in. Maybe it even brings tears to your eyes. And there is indeed worship in those moments. But worship isn't just a feeling.
What happens is, we associate that "feeling" with worship and think that when we aren't feeling that "feeling" worship isn't happening. You know those Sunday mornings when you just didn't "feel" it? Something felt off? Worship can still happen in those moments. Worship is being obedient to giving God praise whether you feel like it or not.
3 | Worship isn't when everything "goes right"
Tech problems, wrong notes, forgetting lyrics - something goes wrong and it suddenly doesn't feel like worship anymore. It feels like we messed up a performance. The truth is - our worship is never perfect. But, Jesus perfects our worship. (See Hebrews 10)
4 | Worship isn't when all of your personal preferences are met
Hymns vs contemporary worship. Slow songs vs fast song. Hillsong vs Chris Tomlin. Worship is not when your personal preferences are met. Worship involves sacrifice. Congregational worship sometimes means sacrificing your preferences.
5 | Worship isn't always music
The biggest assumption that has commandeered the definition of worship is that worship is music. And it is... but it isn't always.
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