"...the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers." John 4:23
This week was our first class of Worship Foundations at Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX. The question I posed to the students was why should we study worship? Why analyze something that is spiritual, mysterious, and almost indefinable? It is interesting some answers we discovered.
Here are twelve reasons why a leader or believer should study the worship of God.
#1 THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A LIFE OF WORSHIP. Salvation is a matter of worship. It requires a person to look up and acknowledge Jesus as Lord. That is worship. Then to confess our sins and confess Him as your Savior is also an act of worship. The story of salvation begins and ends in worship. Christian life centers in corporate worship of the risen Jesus.
#2 WHEN WE WORSHIP WE CONNECT WITH GOD. In worship we experience the presence of the one who promised to be with us always. Worship develops our spiritual connection with God. The worshiper encounters God in praise and prayer.
#3 WORSHIP IS THE SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL RENEWAL. Students leave CFNI and they write back how much they miss the worship in chapel. In worship God is encountered. He speaks, He comforts, He imparts and changes us. Most every revival in church history came out of a group of believers seeking God in worship.
#4 IN WORSHIP GOD SPEAKS AND IMPARTS. When we worship God He speaks TO us and acts UPON us. The presence of God ensures the power of God is with us. When we seek God in praise and worship He is present and active.
#5 CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IS ORGANIZED AROUND WORSHIP. From the beginning of the Church we gather in community to worship. Church means gathering. The focus of gathering is to worship in music, word and action.
#6 WORSHIP IS THE PRIMARY WORK OF THE CHURCH. Robert Webber, “Worship is the primary calling of the church and a key to all the ministries of the church…”It is the first and greatest commandment
#7 OUT OF WORSHIP COMES ALL OTHER MINISTRIES. Preaching, prayer, good works, evangelism, how you work and live our lives all flow out of our worship life. Our worship and God’s presence will carry us through work, relationships, ministry, and any circumstance.
#8 GOD’S STORY IS ABOUT WORSHIP. Israel was a worship-shaped people. The life of Jesus is an act of sacrificial worship. God’s people as temples of the Holy Spirit are a place of worship. The story of God culminates in believers throughout all history gathered around the divine throne in everlasting worship.
#9 TO WORSHIP GOD CORRECTLY. We must worship our God and Savior in the manner He desires. If we don’t know how to worship Him in the right manner we will worship falsely. Perhaps we might be false worshipers. We must study worship to get God’s perspective on acceptable worship
#10 TO WORSHIP WITH UNDERSTANDING. Ignorance about worship makes our worship empty and void of meaning because we don’t know why we worship and what it means. We must praise and worship God knowing what we are doing.
#11 BECAUSE GOD IS WORTHY OF OUR BEST WORSHIP. True worship requires a response to God that is thoughtful, costly and worthy such a wondrous God. We study worship to give Him our best and highest worship.
#12 TO PUT GOD FIRST. First day of the week is for the Lord to worship Him. We should start not only the week but each day with worship. If we don’t study worship of the Bible we miss key principles that will bless God and enrich our lives.
I firmly believe worship is one of the most exciting subjects that a Christian can study. It is an endless exploration of the mystery of eternal worship. It began before man and will outlast the earth it self – an eternal action of affectionate worshipers to the Redeemer of all humanity. What a glorious occupation! What a wonderful exploration of the mysteries of worship of the divine.
Robert Webber, The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody MA, 1993) pg XLI