Priority of Worship
We have a few phrases that we use to describe what we do on Sunday mornings. Some say, “we’re going to church.” Others say, “it’s time for Sunday services.” The remaining few will say, “it’s time for worship.” Regardless of the term we may use, I think we’d all agree that our priority on Sunday morning is worship. Beyond that, we also seem to understand worship differently which causes some confusion. Some see singing and playing music exclusively as worship. However, worship includes prayer, baptism, Lord’s Supper, singing praise, giving, reading, preaching and serving. If you will, worship is best understood as any form of pouring out to God. Obviously, God must be the focus and at the center of whatever we’re doing to rightfully call it worship.
ISA 25:1 O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
With all of that said, I must also point out that worship is both private and corporate. In fact, if you’re not worshiping privately during the week, your engagement in corporate worship (worship with the church) will be nominal at best. Instead, pouring out to God must be a consistent activity as part of our lifestyle. As some have said, “worship isn’t a light switch that you can turn on and off as you please.” Furthermore, I realize that there are a variety of activities that we involve ourselves in on Sunday when we gather as the church. Some of these activities include Bible study, leadership responsibilities, security, nursery, serving in the kitchen, ushering, children’s worship, serving the Lord’s Supper, prayer team duties during the altar call, audio/video, etc. These things are also forms of worship if we’re truly pouring out to God.
PS 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
At this point I’d like to ask a penetrating question. Is it possible for us to show up on Sunday morning and do everything but worship? Yes. It’s possible. In fact, you may have been pulled into unnecessary sidebar meetings, conversations and activities that have nothing to do with worship. So then, you might ask, how can I know whether I’m truly worshiping or not?
- Is my focus on Jesus?
- Am I singing in such a way that Jesus knows I’m praising Him?
- Am I listening in such a way that God can speak to me?
- Am I praying in such a way that Jesus knows I’m speaking to Him?
- Am I taking the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Jesus in such a way that honors and esteems Him?
- Do I respond in obedience to the encouragement and/or conviction that comes from the reading and preaching of God’s word?
- Am I a distraction to others in such a way that causes others to lose their focus on worshiping Jesus? (e.g. talking during prayer or preaching, getting up and down from your seat, going in and out of the worship center, failing to turn off/down your phone, sidebar meetings, etc.)
PS 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
As your pastor, please allow me to offer some recommendations on how to keep corporate worship a priority.
- Determine in your heart and mind that Jesus is worthy of your worship.
- Make worship a lifestyle by actively worshiping both privately and corporately.
- Clear your calendar for Sunday that rids yourself of distractions and competing activities.
- Get yourself and your family ready for corporate worship starting Saturday night to include transportation, clothes, materials, Bibles, etc.
- Set your alarm so you have plenty of time to get ready and make the drive to church arriving early.
- When others attempt to engage you in conversation or activity that draws you away from worship, politely ask them if you can talk to them about the topic sometime during the week.
- When it’s time for corporate worship then worship in the love of God with all of your being.
As we’ve agreed, our priority as a church on Sunday morning is worship. We may have different names for it, but it is our desire to worship God and God alone. That is, pouring out to God in honor, respect, esteem and praise. I hope to see you Sunday as we engage in worship as our priority. In other words, worshiping in the form of prayer, singing praises, reading/studying/preaching God’s word, giving, taking the Lord’s Supper, baptism and serving.
A Work in Progress,