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Boyers 1 Kevin Boyers Foundations of Church Music Dr. Davis 11-30-17 My Philosophy of Worship Worship. A word that is thrown around in nearly every church or religious setting. The word worship can imply a variety of different meanings. Most Christians would be able to give a general response as to what they think worship is. Some might say worship is music
  Boyers 1 Kevin Boyers Foundations of Church Music Dr. Davis 11-30-17 My Philosophy of Worship Worship. A word that is thrown around in nearly every church or religious setting. The word worship can imply a variety of different meanings. Most Christians would be able to give a general response as to what they think worship is. Some might say worship is music. Others may say that worship is giving up their praise to God. The reality is, worship cannot be defined in a sentence or two. In this paper, I am going to unpack what scripture says about worship, and how it should affect our everyday lives. In John 4, John tells the story about Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well. In verse 20, the woman is confused and asks Jesus why the Jews worship in Jerusalem. She was taught that worship was to be done on a nearby mountain. Jesus explains that a day will come where she won’t have to worship on the mountain or in Jerusalem. In verse 23 Jesus explains, “Yet a time is coming  and now has come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.” In this verse Jesus is saying that his resurrection allows his followers to worship him outside of tradition. Before the time of Jesus, the worship process looked nothing like it does today. It was ritualistic and based in a physical location. In our passage the Samaritan woman thinks that they must worship on the top of the mountain. We find out that because o f Jesus’ resurrection, he opens the door to worship God anywhere. It’s no longer based on a physical location, rather  Boyers 2 it is based on the spirit. In his book “Worship Matters”, Bob Kauflin (Sovereign Grace ministries director of worship) sums it up perfec tly. He says, “Our meeting place with God– the place we now worship  –  is the exalted Lord Jesus Christ. Not a temple. Not a church building. Not a sanctuary or auditorium. Jesus is where and how we meet with God ” (Kauflin, B). Jesus gives us the opportunity to worship him anywhere, at anytime, doing anything. We often take this blessing for granted, but it is truly special that God gives us the freedom to worship Him whenever we want. God is spirit. Therefore, we need to worship in spirit. How many times do we set apart time to worship without inviting God in our presence? Worship in the church (specifically singing) has become such a weekly routine that we often go through the motions without thinking twice . We become frustrated when we don’t feel a connection to the Lord. If we feel this sense of loss during worship, most likely it is because of something we are doing wrong. It’s not because the Lord didn’t “show up” that morning. The bottom line is: it is impossible to  worship without Spirit. We must pray before worshipping. Christ followers should never go into a time of worship without taking some time beforehand to pray. It is important to invite the Holy Spirit into your heart, and allow Him to speak to you. Worshiping in truth refers to centering our minds on the gospel. Being reminded of the truth that God sent His son to die on the cross for us. This cannot   be emphasized enough in our worship. If we grasp this meaning in our lives, we will be so much more enthusiastic and excited to get the opportunity to worship the God that has saved all of us. It is important for us to constantly be in the Word because it affects our worship.  Boyers 3 Continuing In verse 23, John tells us that if we worship in spirit and truth, God will seek us. This makes worship even more important for us. We have the ability for the creator of the universe to seek us. That is a truly incredible opportunity, and the only requirement is to worship Him in spirit and in truth. That is a pretty generous trade for the sinful humans that we are. We don’t deserve that opportunity, but God’s love blesses us. Surely if God seeks me, I will understand Him more deeply and my relationship with Him will be elevated to a new level. We need to take full advantage of this God given gift. Worship should be continual throughout our lives. When we restrict our worship to singing once a week at church, we are missing out on experiences with God. Jesus has given us the ability to worship through prayer, sports, art, nature, relationships, activities/hobbies, and many other things. Worship should become a lifestyle for Christians. Our worship should be evident in the everyday things of life. We can glorify God through the experiences he has given us. Whatever it is that helps connect with God on a deeper level, use that to pursue Him in worship. Worship ministry is a foundational part of the church. Worship is how we personally connect with God. Although worship is not restricted to being in church, it is important that the church implements times of worship. Most churches do this through music (which is great), but it is much more than that. It is beneficial for churches to incorporate multiple styles of worship. Scripture, baptism, communion, fellowship, and testimonies are all ways in which the church can implement worship in a service. I believe that worship in the church goes much farther than what happens on a Sunday morning. I would consider small groups within the church a time of worship. Scripture tells us to be engaged with other believers in community. Groups within the church are a great way to  Boyers 4 connect with other Christ followers. This can enhance our daily worship and challenge us in our walk with the Lord. Another way churches can be more involved in worship outside of Sunday mornings are through service, and giving. Something as simple as a service project in the local community can be an extremely powerful time of worship. Many churches will support and sponsor the work of international missions. Churches that are generous with their time and money are living up to what God calls the church to do. However, the church cannot be generous with what they have unless the people within the congregation are also generous. Sadly, our American culture today puts restrictions on worship. Worship has become a certain style of music that is only played in churches. Luckily, God does not limit us to that. He is much bigger. Jesus commands us to worship Him in spirit and in truth, but he doesn’t give us an extended rule book on how we should worship. This is done intentionally. Jesus himself did not want to confine our idea of worship. He allows us to worship in whatever way we choose, and we need to make it more of a priority in our everyday lives.
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