You’ve probably heard the term “worship set”. Someone has probably come up to you and said something like, “The worship this morning was so powerful!” or “I was so moved during worship.” We even go so far as to call our church services “worship services.” Worship does indeed happen during all of these things, but the Bible tells us that worshiping the Lord includes so much more. Vaughan Roberts writes about this in his book True Worship. This is absolutely one of my favorite quotes:
“To say I’m going to church to worship is about as silly as saying I’m off to bed to breathe for a while. Worship should define the whole of my life.”
(Vaughan Roberts, True Worship)
We even like to take this one step further and call our congregational singing time a “worship set.” I believe that the implications of this, though subtle, can lead to some profound outcomes. Unknowingly, we are telling our people that worship only happens when we express our selves verbally and melodically to the Lord. So the scripture reading, sermon, offering, communion, and prayer aren’t worship. And what about when we walk out the door? How about when we honor our spouse, serve those around us, and pray for our neighbors.
Is singing worship? Yes, but so is listening to a sermon, giving an offering, praying, reading the word of God, spending time teaching your children about Him, and making decisions that honor Him daily. It’s all a grace inspired response to what God has done for us. This isn’t limited to the hour long window on Sunday morning and certainly not to our 15-20 minutes of singing.
So what I suggest is something pretty straight forward. Let’s call our singing time… singing! It’s way less confusing to new people and lets others know what they are going to be doing right off the bat. We often start our services by telling people, “Good morning! We are going to enter into a time of singing together…” This gives us an opportunity, not only to notify people of what’s next, but, also explain some of the reasons that we even sing in the first place.(I plan on writing a follow-up post talking about some of the reasons that we sing.)
Experiencing worship as a church is a powerful thing but our worship goes far beyond a gathering of God’s people. It drives down the street, enters our homes, and goes to work with us. It is there when we hang out with our friends and when we parent our children. Daily we receive and respond to God and His grace. That’s what worship is all about.