After the Music Fades
What is worship? Sure, it's getting together with other Christians and singing and praising God. But what about after the music fades?
We talked to some people who are serious about worship. Fabian, Ross, Lauren and Michelle are student leaders at a church near Campus Life. Stephen and Jay are ministers who work with teens, and Martin Smith is the lead singer of the British worship band Delirious.
How do you define "worship"?
Ross: I define it as a way of giving glory to God, doing whatever we can that gives praise to God.
Lauren: It's living your life to glorify God and show his love to other people.
Michelle: It's complete humility and submission before God, just laying everything bare before him.
Fabian: Worship is what you live for. It's what motivates you to get up in the morning.
Stephen: Early on, the word was pronounced and spelled "worth-ship." For us, that means attributing our worth to God. And it's related to the first commandment, to have no other gods before the one true living God.
Jay: Worship has a lot to do with what we place our value in, because we worship what we value.
Martin: Worship is a lifestyle. It's not just something we do on Sunday morning, but trying to reflect the glory of God in every part of our lives.
Why should we worship?
Ross: Because it honors God.
Fabian: It's what we were created to do. It's our job to worship him.
Stephen: I think we worship because we have to. God has put in our hearts the desire to adore him, and I don't think we'd do that on our own. We're compelled to worship.
Jay: We worship God because of who he is—our Creator. And because of what he's done for us—taken us from a pit of hell and moved us into an eternity in heaven.
Martin: We worship because it's the only way to make our life work. It's like our body needs oxygen. In the same way, our very life needs to worship God because we are created to do that.
What does worship do for God?
Martin: God doesn't need our worship. The world will still spin if we don't worship. He existed for a long time without us, and he was just as great before we came along.
Fabian: I agree with Martin. We can't really say what worship does for God. We cannot exalt him any more or less, because he is already exalted.
Michelle: God had eternity without our worship and obviously he was OK.
Ross: Still, our worship makes him happy. It shows him how much we care for him.
Jay: It brings about God's ultimate design, which is to worship him. That's what we're going to do in heaven. Our worship here on earth is only a prelude to that.
Worship can be an emotional experience, but are emotions necessary to worship well?
Michelle: No. Emotions are not consistent. It doesn't matter how you feel or what state of mind or heart you're in, because God accepts whatever worship we can offer him.
Fabian: Feelings can be dangerous. I say "dangerous" be-cause people tend to go after the feeling instead of going after God. If we look for feelings while we're worshiping, we're look-ing for what we can get out of it, not what we can give to God.