Many churches call their Sunday morning services a worship service. Does that mean going to church is worshipping God? I suppose it could be, but I don’t think many people believe that. Instead, they focus on a particular aspect of the service as worship: the singing part. So singing can be worship. But where does that leave someone like me who can’t sing and doesn’t really even like to try?
I’ve also heard ministers say, “Let’s worship God with our tithes and offerings.” That implies donations are worship. Except that we’re not giving our money to God but to people who – with varying degrees of success – endeavor to spend it on the things they think are important to God. I’m all about charity. But because there’s an intermediary with our church donations, it doesn’t feel much like worshiping God but instead supporting a manmade institution.
Here are some other ideas of worship that resonate with me more so than singing and donating:
- Help Others: Assisting those in need, either with our time or our money, can be an act of worship.
- Appreciate Nature: Enjoying God’s creation affirms the creator and can serve as powerful worship.
- Study the Bible: Scouring God’s Word for insights about him and how to serve him may be a viable act of worship.
- Pray: As we move our prayers from telling God what we want towards sharing and listening, we approach worship.
- Fast: Done with integrity, going without can be another way to worship God; it’s not for us but for him.
- Hang Out With God: In all these ways, and many others, we can spend time with God. When our focus is on him, we worship him.
What I do know is that the Bible encourages us to worship God in spirit and in truth. Though I’m still working out what that fully means, it is my goal, my heart’s desire: To wholly worship God in spirit and in truth. The way I do it is secondary.