Worship Is Not a Spectator Event

prayerIt seems that sometimes in church we get in a routine where we come in sit down and wait for those on the stage to sing, teach, pray etc, while we sit in our comfy little pew and observe.  This really frustrates me because I think we have a misunderstanding of worship.  Matt Redman is right that at its very core worship is all about Jesus or at least it should be. Worship is not just a corporate service that we attend once a week to please God.

Further, I believe that true worship requires us to be an active participant not just a spectator.  No, I don’t mean that we all must preach or be on the platform to worship. Rather we need to be actively engaged in worship and not wondering whats for dinner or planning our week.  There are several ways we can be active participants.

First, be prepared.  Before arriving be ready to worship, enter with a mind and heart ready for worship. It helps me to listen to praise music as I’m getting ready for church.

Second, be focused.  During the prayers, songs etc don’t tune out. This can be hard for me. Having ADHD can make it hard for me to focus at times. I get frustrated when the service starts with a song or two  and then we have to a break for greetings (which in many churchs includes talking to those near us), announcements, maybe a presentation or something else. Then we are supposed to suddenly return to spirit of worship with at best two songs. I wish that all of the announcements and other stuff could be taken care of before the “worship” starts”. Mentally it is hard for me to switch back so fast and truly be focused.

Third, choose to be a participant. What I mean is to be actively engaged and interacting with what is going be it a singing, prayer or preaching. For me prayer and preaching times are when I tend to become a spectator and tune out.

During worship are you a spectator or participant? How do you prepare yourself for worship?


  1. I shared a few weeks back something very similar to this to our high school group. Really cool to hear some of the same thoughts coming from someone else.

    I dig the theme you chose.

  2. When I visited the Mennonites last summer, I really liked how they did their services. They opened with a few songs from the hymnal. Then a brief announcements/greetings. Then the women, men, and children each had separate Bible study groups but on the same topic. They used a printed weekly lesson book which people worked on at home to be ready for the discussion. Then another song, prayer then the sermon. finally another song before dismissal. It was very organized. I felt the prayerful dedication rather than entertainment value was the purpose of worship. It saddens me when people judge a church more on its entertainment value than dedication and Biblical teachings.

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