Pastor of Passion City Church, Louie Giglio, defines it this way: “Worship is our response to God, for who He is and what He has done, expressed – both personally and corporately – in and by the things we say and the way we live.”
I love this definition of worship. It has nothing to do with music.
Often times believers, myself included, have pigeon-holed the term worship into a genre of music or an activity in which we turn into a mega choir and sing together in our weekend gatherings. Worship includes but is not limited to music.
Worship is directed toward someone or something. Typically wherever we put our most time, skill, and money is what we worship. It’s at least a good indicator of it. Worship as far as the local church is concerned should always be about the person of Jesus. The apostle Paul writes to the church of Colossea that God has placed Jesus in authority over ALL things, and that everyone will one day bow in honor, respect, and worship of Him. Truly, he is the only one worthy of our worship.
I’ve been a “worship leader” on staff at churches for the last 8+ years. My responsibilities have run the gamut in the realm of creating dynamic weekend services. I’ve led songs on Sunday mornings, I’ve put together musical arrangements, I’ve helped with creative dramas, paintings, and sculptures. I’ve designed sets. I’ve also had the unique privilege to stock food in relief shelters, play balloon ball with the elderly, and fed the homeless. Leading worship goes far beyond Sunday morning. It’s beautiful.
Stephen Miller’s book Worship Leaders: We Are Not Rock Stars addresses the tension in worship leading, the tension that exists when you’re leading and people look to you. It’s the same intoxicating draw that caused Lucifer to fall from heaven. Pride. We love to be loved. We love the attention. Worship can become about the response of others toward you verses your response to God. It’s a hard thing to overcome, but it must be over come.