by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 10/2/14

Worship is the most important thing we do as practicing, faithful, Christians. If you ask people why they like worshiping at their congregation, you will get a bevy of responses, most based on personal tastes. “I like worship where we sing hymns, see no screens, and sound the hour by the organ.” If you ask another, you might also hear that they like worship at their church because, “the sermons are short, the music is loud, and the drums quicken the pulse.” Asking why someone likes worship may be the wrong question. It invariably leads to issues of style, taste, and personal preference.
Asking instead, what connects the worshiper to God in these moments evokes a different response. Consider these definitions:
“True worship is that exercise of the human spirit that confronts us with the mystery and marvel of God in whose presence the most appropriate and salutary response is adoring love.”
“Christian worship is the glad response of Christians to the holy, redemptive love of God made known in Jesus Christ.”
“Worship, in all its grades and kinds, is the response of the creature to the Eternal.”
“Worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”
Worship, regardless of style and execution, should first and foremost be about what we gather and give to God: our voices, our praise, our tithes and offerings, our gifts, and our lives. If worship is about us at all, it is about what happens to us when we become a worshiping people. The very practice of worship shapes our lives.
During this season, we will be celebrating the mission and ministries of Highland Hills. Our ministry of worship changes how we see ourselves and the world. It is both our first and best response to the life that God has given us and the best way for us to participate in the new life present in the kingdom of God. As we lift up this important part of our ministry, I ask that you consider your offerings to the mission and ministry fund of Highland Hills that funds our practice of worship.