First and foremost: Worship belongs to God.
After listening to the podcast from White Horse Inn on “The Worship Experience”,(http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2012/05/20/whi-1102-the-worship-experience/) here are some of the thoughts that came to mind.
Worship is not for our benefit. God created us in the beginning to have a relationship with him. He walked and had fellowship with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. By doing so, He set the example of His ideal relationship and purpose for creating us in the first place. That being said, worship is not our “gift” to God. It is simply an offering. It is a way of glorifying or exalting God through our humble actions which are incapable of ever fully being able to express God’s perfect holiness. (While some may find this thought discouraging, it is simply a fact that brings greater appreciation for how undeserving we are of God’s unconditional love.)
The act of worship is ingrained into our natures as human beings. We long to worship something or someone whether we believe in God or some other “higher power”. Even those who do not believe in any greater being have a worshipful attitude toward something in their lives. Worship is a necessary foundation of who we are.
Worship is not music.
A simple definition search clarifies that point. Music is not the equivalency of worship and vice versa. The Bible clearly states:
“31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” 1 Corinth. 10:31-33
Worship is anything and EVERYTHING that a person does in their life. The goal is for everything we do to uplift and glorify God. While there may be debates on how to accomplish this, the point is that worship is not music, feelings and emotions, classical instruments, praise bands, choirs, sermons, or a gathering on Sunday mornings. YES, worship can be accomplished or expressed through all of these things, but the key factor is glorifying God. Verse thirty-two of this passage says, “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jew, Greeks, or the church of God”. If something in a particular service is preventing you from being able to focus on praising God, then it may be a stumbling block that needs to be addressed in a Christ-centered way. Griping and going so far as switching denominations for the sake of a “better” service and “experience” are not the answers. We are all a part of the “body of Christ” or the church, and we are its working parts. Not the audience meant to be “entertained” or “moved” by an inspiring or even reverent music concert.
The bottom line: make sure your heart is write in God’s eyes, and always try to be a part of the solution (not the problem). Most importantly, realize that a Christ-centered life is not about your own self. It is, in fact, about Christ and His own pleasing and perfect will.