Part of My Story
When I was 16 years old God began to do something that was unique in my life, something that to this day drives me forward. I was a young, immature boy who barely knew how to play the guitar, and knew almost nothing about the Bible and the Church, when God began to draw my attention to a word, worship. At that time I could barely even call myself a “worship leader”, I had almost no experience leading. Yet in His goodness and foresight, God was giving me a noble obsession. I still remember sitting poolside one summer break scouring books, learning as much as I could about the subject in between games of Marco Polo and Ping Pong. Kinda weird, I know, but none-the-less true. That was just the beginning of a journey that I’ve been on with God ever since. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 10+ years it’s that worship is far more than a word. It’s far more than an activity. It’s an identity. Worship is something that I do, but it’s also who I am.
“Worship is something that I do, but it’s also who I am.”
It seems to me that this should be at the forefront of our minds as Christ-followers. Can we even be true disciples if we are not first, worshipers? There’s no doubt that our identity as worshipers is important to God. The Scriptures say that the Father is searching the earth, looking for true worshipers (John 4:23).
The problem that I see is that even though this idea of being a “worshiper” is widely accepted as a central part of our faith, the subject of worship (corporately and personally) is pretty misunderstood. Here’s what I mean. . .
Corporately speaking, many of us are lacking a Biblical understanding of the gathered church. We show up to church with almost no thought about the purpose of the gathering. We may or may not participate in the service that’s been planned because we don’t see the practical or spiritual implications that singing/praying/communion/baptism/etc. bring to our faith. Therefore, we tend to argue and bicker over personal preference as if it’s the primary reason the church exists. If we lived out a more Biblical understanding of corporate worship I believe that our churches would be healthier, more unified, and each individual would find the gathering to be an absolutely necessary part of their life in Christ.
Personally speaking, many of us are lacking a Biblical understanding of what personal worship looks like. Our lives of worship are meant to be much more vibrant than sporadic “quiet times”, saying grace before a meal, or attending church services. We’re invited into a dynamic, rhythmic, intimate relationship with God. King David, the Apostle Paul, Jesus himself and many others offer us practical insight into what a life of worship looks like. They can help us see past our traditions, get us outside of our comfort zones, and develop new habits that will infuse our lives with devotion to Jesus, and ultimately shape our faith. The Bible presents a new way of living life that many Christians never take hold of. It’s a life that’s found at the feet of Jesus.
In the coming months I want to invite you to join me in exploring what it looks like to be a worshiper both corporately and personally. I’m certainly not saying that I have all of the answers, but I would like to ask some questions, discuss some scriptures, and hopefully add something to the world around me that’s helpful. I hope you’ll follow along, invite friends to follow along, and let’s journey together toward a Biblical understanding of who we are, worshipers.