Worship Is More than Music

McDonald’s sells more than burgers, Amazon sells more than books, and a AAA membership offers far more benefits than just roadside assistance. We easily associate a brand name or well-known company with a limited sample of its products or services when it actually produces or offers much more. If we’re not careful, we do the same thing in the church when we view or portray worship as the musical part of Sunday morning gatherings. I say this because worshiping God encompasses so much more than music.

We often describe the musical part of church gatherings as though there’s worship (i.e., music), then there’s everything else: announcements, giving, preaching, prayer, and so on. We inadvertently give the impression that when we’ve finished singing, we’ve transitioned from worship to preaching, as though preaching is not worship but music is. We say things like “Praise God for that uplifting time of worship this morning! Now let’s turn our attention to the preaching of God’s Word.” Though we don’t develop this subtle dichotomy deliberately (after all, we do call the entire gathering a “worship” service), we imply or suggest this distinction nonetheless. When we do, we encourage a deficient perspective on what we’re doing when we gather as a church on Sunday.

In this article I hope to remind us that we should approach the entire Sunday gathering, not just the musical part, as worship. I will also suggest some ways to promote a more complete perspective on worship in your church. Are you ready? Let’s go!

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​​​​​​​Worship Then and Now

Worshiping God is fundamental to God’s people. He wants the redeemed of all ages to honor and serve Him with reverence and joy. Unfortunately, worship is one of the most controversial subjects in churches today. Instead of worship uniting the church, “worship wars” have scarred denominations and fragmented the church. These types of disputes are nothing new. The fault lines of worship controversies have marred nearly every turning point in church history.

In this article I would like to compare the worship between Israel and the church. I hope that by drawing hermeneutical and theological distinctions between the Old and New Testaments, we might better understand the true nature of worship and God’s expectations for the church.

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Review of H.B. Charles Jr.’s On Worship: A Short Guide to Understanding, Participating in, and Leading Corporate Worship

"It leaves room for different Christians to worship in ways consistent with their traditions and culture, yet also calls us to ensure that, no matter what, our worship is 'shaped and governed by the Word of God'" - Challies

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