“Worship isn’t and won’t be the same as it was before COVID-19.”
Well, that’s a statement…
I have heard this said by some people, and I have found myself pondering and wrestling with what this means. Although I think there is some truth in this statement, I think it is mostly untrue and that it misrepresents what worship is, and what our call is as followers and worshippers of Jesus.
See there’s ‘worship’ in the sense of what most of us think when we hear that word, which is our discipleship rhythm of Celebrate Big: coming together as the church to celebrate who God is and what He has done in our lives, regardless of our circumstances. This is where we practice baptism, prayer, giving, taking of the Lord’s Supper, sharing GWS (God Working Stories), and collectively raising our voice in singing songs to praise God (Matt 28:19; 1Cor 11:17-24; Psalm 95, 96, 98, and 100 to name a few verses).
If this is our only understanding of worship, then one may agree: “Yes, worship isn’t currently the same because we can’t come together”. Yet, although it’s true that our gathering together may functionally look different in this season, we need to be reminded of what Jesus says in Matthew 18:20, “[f]or where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them”, and that we are of “one Spirit” as it also says in Ephesians 4. This means that by the beautiful gift of technology we can still come together in Jesus’ name, unified by one Spirit, so that we can Celebrate Big.
Yet again, this is if our understanding of worship is only the context of Celebrate Big, and we know it’s not just that. It’s critical for us to remember that worship is so much more than what happens at our Sunday gatherings.
Worship is our life.
Worship is our response to God.
Worship is everything and anything we do that is directed to God, for His glory.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “[t]herefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Worship is our life given as a sacrifice to God in response to His love and mercy, allowing Him to shape, renew, and transform us so that we can know His will for our everyday lives to bring Him glory.
Therefore, as an outflow of our discipleship rhythm of Following Jesus Daily, would we offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, because this is where we see worship truly come out. As we surrender everything and anything that we do in our life to God, would we be people who worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
Read these additional passages:
1Corinthians 10:31 – “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
In both of the passages, at the heart of what Paul is saying is whatever you do, do it for God’s glory.
So I ask… How do YOU worship?
Do you worship through… Cooking?
Do you worship through… Your Job?
Do you worship through… Parenting?
Do you worship through… Your School Work?
Do you worship through… Physical Activity?
Do you worship through… Serving or Encouraging Others?
Do you worship through… Creating Art?
Do you worship through… Reading?
Do you worship through… Writing?
Do you worship through… Playing or Listening to Music?
How do YOU worship?
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to open your mind to what worship in your life could look like if you shift your heart posture into that of a lifestyle of worship.
One of the ways you can worship through music is to fill your home with songs that fix your mind and heart on who God is throughout your day! You can follow “southridgefellowshipchurch” on Spotify and listen to our current playlist called “RESET Series Playlist”, which is a selection of songs that compliment the RESET Series on the I AM statements of Jesus.
To respond to the second half of the opening statement, “worship… won’t be the same as it was before COVID-19”
I don’t know what the future holds in terms of when we will be able to physically gather together again, and I am longing for those days, but I know that we are still called to worship God and can still Celebrate Big in the forms we are currently using.
Yet, more importantly, as Jesus followers we have all been called to a life of worship in response to God, and my hope and prayer is that if our lives have not reflected a daily lifestyle of worship, then maybe COVID-19 could serve as an opportunity for us to be renewed in our personal understanding of worship, and that our worship wouldn’t look the same as it did before COVID-19.
Grace and Peace.
Mason Kinna – Director of Worship Arts