A husband and wife were on the way home from worship one Sunday morning. As they rode along, the wife asked her husband, “Did you see that woman in the front row showing off her Liz Claiborne suit?”
“No, I didn’t,” her husband replied.
“Well, did you see that man on our left–the one wearing that gaudy sport jacket that clashed with his slacks?”
Then she asked, “Well, surely you noticed that young man to our right with the tattoo, wearing an earring?”
Her husband looked up and in a quiet tone, with an embarrassed expression of what he was about to confess said, “Honey, to be honest with you, I dozed off during worship this morning.
In a huffy tone, she then rebuked him saying, “Well!! A lot of good worship does you!”
This prompts the question, “Why are you going to church today?”
To see and be seen?
To salve your conscience?
To please a spouse or parent?
To critique and criticize?
To hear your favorite preacher?
So, why are you going to church today? And what is the purpose of worship?
Succinctly put, to exalt, magnify and worship God. The late Bill Fiest expressed it this way, “Our purpose in gathering together is to prostrate ourselves before the Almighty God of heaven and pay Him homage.”
Robert Webber, in Worship is a Verb, wrote: “The focus of worship is not human experience, not a lecture, not entertainment, but Jesus Christ–His life, death, and resurrection.
While God doesn’t need our worship, He desires it. Just like a parent wants a child to express his love, appreciation, and thankfulness, so our Heavenly Father seeks worship of His creation (Jn. 4:23-24).
Furthermore, whether we consciously realize it or not, we need to worship God. Author John Ortberg was right when he wrote, “I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a big God beside me and live in fear. I need to worship because without it I can forget his calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation. I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on. I need to worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.”
When worship is God-centered, and Christ-focused, “Worship,” observed Jack Hayford,” changes the worshiper into the image of the One worshiped.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
4 responses to “Sunday Seed Thoughts: The Purpose of Worship”
A timely and humbling reminder.
A couple years ago I asked some friends (who go to denominational churches), why they go on Sunday. I was wondering if any would say to worship God because of previous comments. Not one said to worship & this saddened me. The comments were all about what it did for them, what they enjoyed about it. This article reminds me of the conversations I was hoping to have with them, I will keep this on hand & pray for the opportunity to discuss this. Thank you Ken!
As always, great article, Brother Ken! As to the 7 things you listed as to why some people actually come to worship, #6 is rather high on the list for many, sad to say. That one is a discouragement to preachers, teachers, deacons, and songleaders.
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