Re: I Cannot Worship God At My Church!
I’m going to speak only of my own experience with corporate, Sunday morning worship.
My frustration with worship in most churches in America is that “worship” is incredibly narrowly defined. You’re only “worshiping” if you’re singing a top-40 praise chorus (with full praise band, of course), raising your hands, and have your eyes closed or are looking at the ceiling. I struggle with worshiping in that environment.
The best worship experience that I’ve had at my church was in a youth service when the teen leader encouraged people to worship however they wanted: sing, remain silent, stand up, sit down, whatever. I resisted the urge to conform to accepted worship, and I sat in my seat, folded my hands, and stared at the floor (occasionally closing me eyes). I’m sure I didn’t look like I was worshiping, but I spent the entire time caught up in telling God how amazing He is.
But I see two problems with me, in all this….
1. I should worship with my mind and heart on God, not man. I should be focused on God so that I have no hesitation to (in my case) remain seated in the sanctuary and worship God with my eyes looking at the floor, pouring my praise out to Him, without having to be given permission by the worship leader or worrying that I won’t look like I’m worshiping.
2. If I truly grasped even the tiniest portion of how incredibly awesome God really is, the worship wouldn’t be able to be contained within me. I’d be able to freely worship God at all times. Even if the praise band was playing COUNTRY MUSIC. The fact that I can’t shows a lack in me. One that I’m working to overcome.
BTW, another box that we Christians put around ourselves is that we think that it only counts if we worship between 9am and 12pm on Sundays. That’s ridiculous. Some of the best worship times I personally have had occurred during my commute to/from work, while watching Discovery Channel, and while watching certain secular movies. (Watch the movie “Ink” [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1071804/] from a Christian view. If you’ve lived a life with pain, guilt, and/or shame, it’s incredibly powerful. Be warned: There’s a good bit of profanity in it, but don’t let that stop you.)
In the Aorta track “Glori-Fi”, they proclaim, “We want a 24/7 lifestyle of worship.” That’s how every Christian should live. That is what we were made for.