by Roy Hendrix

Worship has become a catch-all word that is used quite frequently today - in religious circles and elsewhere. This short article includes and expands on some of Rick Warren’s views on the subject as found in his book, Purpose Driven Life.

Planned for God’s Pleasure

You were planned for God’s pleasure. The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth. He wanted you alive, and your arrival gave him great pleasure. God did not need to create you, but he chose to create you for his own enjoyment. You exist for his benefit, his glory, his purpose and his delight.

Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, is the first purpose of your life. When you fully understand this truth, you will never again have a problem with feeling insignificant. It proves your worth. If you are that important to God, and he considers you valuable enough to keep with him for eternity, what greater significance could you have?

Bringing Pleasure becomes Worship

Bringing pleasure to God is called worship. The Bible says, “The Lord is pleased with those who worship him and trust his love” (Psalm 147:11). Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship.

More Than a Church Service

Depending on your church background, you probably need to expand your understanding of the real meaning of ‘worship.’ You may think of church services with singing, praying and listening to a sermon when you hear the word. Or you may think of ceremonies, candles, and communion. Worship can include these elements, but worship is far more than these expressions.

More Than Music

For many people, worship is just a synonym for music. They say, “At our church we have the worship first, and then the teaching.” This is a big misunderstanding. Every part of a church service is an act of worship; praying, Scripture reading, singing, confession, silence, being still, listening to a sermon, taking notes, giving an offering, baptism, communion, signing a commitment card and even greeting other worshipers.

Even worse, worship is often misused to refer to a particular style of music: “First we sang a hymn, then a praise and worship song.” Or “I like the fast praise songs but enjoy the slow worship songs most.” In this usage, if a song is fast or loud or uses brass instruments, it’s considered “praise.” But if it is slow and quiet and intimate, maybe accompanied by a guitar, that’s worship. This is a common misuse of the term worship. Worship has nothing to do with the style or volume or speed of a song. God loves all kinds of music because he invented it all - fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don’t like all kinds of music, but God does! If it is offered to God in spirit and truth, it is an act of worship. Actually, other forms of worship predate music. Adam worshiped in the Garden of Eden, but music isn’t mentioned until Genesis 4:21 with the birth of Jubal. If worship were just music, then all who are nonmusical could never worship. Worship is far more than music.

Even More

Worship is so much more than music, than praying, reading Scripture, partaking of Communion and other church services. Worship, or bringing enjoyment to God, gets deeply into our daily lives. Being kind to others, listening to someone vent in a crowded waiting room and not being judgmental, smiling at someone who looks lonely, and visiting or maybe taking meals to the sick are examples of worship. Giving thanks to God is also a form of worship - saying Grace before a meal or giving thanks for all the birds you so like to watch such as a mighty eagle or blue heron or a truly amazing hummingbird. Forgiving someone who has wronged you or disappointed you in some way with his lifestyle - that makes God smile and certainly qualifies as a form of worship.

In One Sentence

Worship is a way of life.