The following excerpt came from an article in last week’s edition of Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox. Oh, that every congregation’s leadership understood these powerful truths about corporate worship. Special thanks to Pastors.com for allowing us to feature this excerpt.
Guest article by Rick Warren:
At Saddleback we believe worship services can be deep, meaningful, and accessible to the unchurched. Your church members shouldn’t have to choose between whole-heartedly worshiping God and having a place where they can bring their unbelieving friends to have the Gospel presented to them.
When we speak of worship, we are talking about something only believers can do. Worship is from believers to God. We magnify God’s name in worship by expressing our love and commitment to him. And unbelievers simply cannot do this.
Here is the simple definition of worship that we operate on at Saddleback:
“Worship is expressing our love to God for who he is, what he’s said, and what he’s doing.”
We believe there are many appropriate ways to express our love to God: by praying, singing, obeying, trusting, giving, testifying, listening and responding to his Word, thanking, and many other expressions.
God – not man – is the focus and center of our worship.
God is the consumer of worship
Although unbelievers cannot truly worship, they can watch believers worship. They can observe the joy that we feel. They can see how we value God’s Word and how we respond to it. They can hear how the Bible answers the problems and questions of life. They can notice how worship encourages, strengthens, and changes us. They can sense when God is supernaturally moving in a service, although they won’t be able to explain it.