Categories of Worship
The worship of God, in the general sense, is the most important thing that we do in life. It is what we were created for. Because of that it most certainly affects every area of our lives and is worthy of our time and efforts to discuss.
Last week we discussed the importance of the Psalms in worship and how they are actually songs meant to be sung and not just read and spoken. This week we are going to introduce the different categories of worship that can be inferred from Scripture. This post will just be an overview of the categories with brief explanations and Scriptural references. In the coming weeks we will begin to look more closely at each category. Those categories include “lifestyle” worship, corporate worship, personal devotion worship, and family worship.
The first category, lifestyle worship, is the way we are called to live our lives as Christians. It is the general posture that we have towards God in everything that we do. This category of worship comes especially from passages such as Romans 12:1 where Paul calls us to “present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is [our] spiritual worship (can also be translated as rational service)” and 1 Corinthians 10:31, which tells us “whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” These passages tell us as Christians that our lives should be a continual act of worship.
Corporate worship is really the time that we have to “practice for heaven.” We get the opportunity to gather together as the Bride of Christ and worship him in unity. It is the time that we get to come together to “stir one another on to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24). It is the time that we get to gather together and hear the Word of God Proclaimed and expounded upon. It is the time that we have to “teach and admonish one another with Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs” (Eph.5:19 & Col. 3:16). It is the time that we get to receive the elements of the Lord’s Supper as we remember what He did for us and proclaim His return. It is the time that we get to witness the ordinance of Baptism as a beautiful outward picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It is the time that we get to come together to pray to our most worthy God. Our corporate worship is what shapes us and teaches how we should worship God in the other spheres of our lives.
Personal Devotion is the intentional ways that we devote ourselves to God through different Spiritual Disciplines. We do this through things like personal Bible reading, private prayer, and even singing. Examples in Scripture include Daniel, many of the Psalms, Acts 10:1-8 and 10:9, and then of course the model that Jesus set for us himself throughout the gospels. As our corporate worship fuels our personal devotion, our personal devotion also fuels our corporate worship.
Family worship is the category of worship that is probably most often neglected and even unheard of by many Christians. Family worship is something that has been very important throughout the Bible as well as the history of Christianity, but has unfortunately fallen out-of-practice by many Christians in contemporary times. There are a number of passages that deal with the topic of family worship, but for now I will just give you two.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” While these passages can be looked at in the general sense of our responsibility of discipling our families, Christians throughout history have felt there is also Biblical warrant for purposeful and more formal times of family worship.
As I said earlier, we will spend more time on this topic in a future post or posts, but family worship is something that should be experienced in all Christian households. If this is something that you have not been practicing in your families and feel that you should begin now it can be as simple as spending a few minutes most days reading Scripture, singing a song or two, and praying together with your families. Just like with personal devotion, family worship fuels and prepares us for corporate worship.
Each of these areas is vital to our lives as Christians. We should seek to give each of them an utmost priority in the way we live from day to day and week to week.
For this Sunday:
As we prepare for corporate worship this Sunday take some time to ask God to reveal to you how the other areas of worship can fuel our corporate worship and vice versa. You could even spend some time with your families (or by yourself) reading through Mark 3:7-35, which will be the Scripture passage Pastor Brady is preaching from. You can view the order of worship HERE. If you remember any of the songs you can sing those with your families. As always, you can spend some time in prayer for the service and for everyone who will lead and everyone who will attend.
See you Sunday!