Worship With Our Lives

Do you have a heart for worship? Do we, as Christians really have a grasp on what worship is? Our friend, Luke Tseng, shares his experiences on this most important subject.

by Luke Tseng of Urbana-Champagne IL 

As a teenager, I didn’t even know what a worship leader was.  In high school I sought after God and eventually became a full-fledged believer my senior year.  After I hit college, I realized I loved worship music and everything that came with it and became a worship leader in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and in my church.

My views on worship and worship music changed drastically over the years.  Sometimes, I saw it as simply music, or as a state of mind you “fell” into, or as a reflection period, or as simple reverence and belief.

So what is worship, really?

Pondering this question, I looked up articles in Relevant Magazine to see what writers and worship leaders had to say.  But the answers were about worship music, not worship, the act, itself because music is so strongly associated with worship in our brains, habits, and hearts.  The problem is that music can be a distraction from the act of worship because of its presentation.

This thought brought me back to an article I came across about the “authenticity” of worship music.  The article described how a worship leader had preset a microphone at knee level.  At a pivotal moment in the worship service, the leader knelt down, began to cry, and used the preset microphone to keep singing without missing a beat.  How authentic was his worship at that point?  Can a moment like that really be planned?  How many people were distracted from worshiping God that day because of the leader’s actions?

Unfortunately, this is all too common of an occurrence but it leads us to understand that truly worshiping is more than just music.  It’s in every part of life.

My current definition of worship came about from God’s call for me to teach English in China.  In preparation to go, I read Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper.  I expected to learn about missions, but instead got a new view on worship and how it is the “ultimate goal of missions”:

“[Worship] is the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory.  The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.  ‘The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!’ (Ps. 97:1).  ‘Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!’ (Ps. 67:3-4)”  (Piper, 17).

Worship is praising and believing in God.  It is the process of beginning to grasp God’s love for us and celebrating it.  Worship isn’t just music.  It isn’t just reflection.  It isn’t just creative expression.  It’s all of the above.  Worship is the Church’s ultimate goal, to worship God with all of our lives.

  1. Hey, Luke. Thanks for the post. Worship seems to always bring a feeling of tranquility despite our circumstances.

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