Last week, I wrote about busting some common myths about worship leaders. Those can be some pretty dangerous myths as they can erode confidence and trust in leadership, but I think there is a more dangerous set of myths out there. A myth about worship can easily cause bad theology, a lack of true worship in the local church, and fights about worship styles. Let’s take a look at some of these.
Worship is what I do only on Sunday morning
This one is significantly wrong on many levels. First, worship doesn’t even boil down to music, let alone a single experience during the week. The act of worship is the act of attempting to show and tell God how much he is worth. It is the attempt to glorify God, and many different things bring glory to God. The act of sharing about God, the act of learning and applying Biblical truths, and the act of speaking to God can represent worship. When we boil something as amazing as worship down to a single experience, we lose the value of what it really means.
Myth! This one is a big one. Churches drop big bucks on facilities. Overall, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buildings, rented or owned. In fact, it can make it much easier for worship service planning, advertising, overall consistency, and many different ministries. However, when we begin to tie our worship down to a location, we have problems. There are many people that will tie worship to a specific building (or even a location in that building). In John 4:21, Christ completely obliterates the “worship in a specific location” argument by telling the woman that “the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.” Location, in itself, is not a bad thing. Locking your worship down to a “location matters” philosophy is a bad thing.
Nope. The fact is, styles change because our culture changes. Different styles attract different people, and that’s OK. For example, I am highly unlikely to regularly attend a church that is conducted solely in a different language. Fact is, I won’t understand it. Therefore, it is less likely to be a meaningful experience for me. It’s the same with music style. Different styles reach different people, but as long as God is glorified, style simply doesn’t matter.
I shouldn’t expect anything during a worship service
First, worship is never about what we get from it. Too often I have heard the phrase “I just didn’t get anything out of worship today.” In fact, I heard it so much I wrote specifically about it here. And then I kind of did it again here. There are plenty of problems with that phrase, including the fact that worship isn’t about us. However, if true worship occurred, you “got something” out of it. As I said earlier, worship includes the act of communication with God. You cannot expect to have any interaction with God and leave unchanged. You definitely “got something.” It may not have been goosebumps, and it may not have been the warm fuzzies, but there was a change that took place. It may not have even been something you wanted (after all, no one likes to change themselves).