Worship Him

Worship Him

Jan 22, 2015

Worship Him

by Katrina Goodrich











In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul writes to the church in Corinth concerning worship. It seems the church was extolling the virtues of one method of worship and

completely ignoring the rest to the distraction and disservice of its members and community. Their worship had become a circus of performances centered around speaking in tongues. Paul explains that there is a time and place for tongues in worship, but he encouraged

the Corinthians to keep it orderly, brief, and to use other forms of worship for edification of all (v 23-26). In response to this issue he introduces the idea of two forms of worship: public and private.

Private worship is between you and God. Paul tells the Corinthians that unless certain conditions are met they should keep silent and let their worship be between them and God (v 28). Public worship occurs around other people. It is still between you and God, however

it can be a shared or observed experience by others. Paul gives examples like hymns, prophecies, lessons which can be shared by all in appropriate moments. Public worship together should be for everyone to learn and be encouraged (v 31).

Paul also hits another important idea in this passage: worship should draw people into Christ, not drive them away — and he isn’t just talking about Christians.

Generally, we, as Christians, are told not to care about what other people think of us and our beliefs. Here though, Paul asks us to consider strangers to God during our public worship times. True worship of God is accessible and inclusive to everyone — even a stranger to God. When we place more emphasis on the method of worship than the goal of praising an almighty, omnipotent, worthy God we aren’t really worshiping anymore.

Sometimes I feel as though music is the 21st century church’s speaking in tongues. Understand that I love music and it can be a beautiful expression and act of worship in a highly accessible way. But we often make the mistake of putting it as the end-all-be-all of worship. We exclusively call music time at church worship time and revere music leaders as worship leaders. We forget that there is more to worship than singing and close ourselves to anything but that single experience. What happens when I lose my voice and can’t sing? How many people raise their hands during music time to get closer to God? How many of those people have ever raised their hands in worship during a sermon? We

get so wrapped up in the perfect sound, having all the worship band members and instruments, that two things happen: instead of worship, we have a show; and we get in the mindset that we must have a worshipful connection during the music and try and force worship to happen. Not to say that having a band during worship or a good sound negates worship (because it doesn’t) but we need to be careful of our motivation. The moment the focus becomes the form of worship rather than the God who is the reason for worship, we get into trouble.

When we lose our focus on God in worship we drift apart. People argue about hymns versus contemporary music, the proper length and delivery of a sermon, etc. Or they all get together and form a clique where acceptance is dependent on your beliefs in a certain thing. This is not what worship is supposed to look like. Paul beseeches us to use worship in such a way that it brings others into understanding and edification. God is not a God of confusion but of peace (v 33).

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