By Tito Pel
Having been in the ministry more than 20 years, I have heard many different comments after a Sunday worship celebration. Here are some of them: “I enjoyed the singing.” “I enjoyed the preaching.” “I appreciate the prayers.” “I liked the Communion meditation.” “I was blessed.” “Your message kept me awake.”
If you are a minister, you have probably heard similar comments. If you are a regular Sunday worshipper, you have probably made similar comments.
A Consumer’s Mind-set
Such comments often come straight from the heart of a sincere worshipper. But at other times, the same comments come from a consumer’s mindset. Some who come to worship are more focused on being entertained than giving to God the worship he deserves. Some rely on the performance of the people who stand in front during the worship service to make their worship experience meaningful.
And while there are many sincere and gifted worship leaders, others lead worship with a view to entertaining the people who come to worship. To quote Isaiah, “Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught” (29:13). When we worship in this manner, the Lord will say of us, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (29:13).
Our worship of God must be our response to our knowledge of who he is and what he has done. We worship him because he is our Creator. He created us for his glory, and we must stand before him in awe and humility, presenting ourselves to be used by him.
We worship him because he is our Redeemer. He redeemed us from certain condemnation, so we must come before him with thanksgiving and praise, no matter what is going on around us. Whether we are worshipping alone or with a group, our minds and hearts must be filled with these two things. This is how we worship with meaning.
Tito Pel is the minister of the Moores Hill (Indiana) Church of Christ. He and his wife, Sandy, served as missionaries to the Philippines for 22 years. They live in Cincinnati, Ohio and have three children and one grandson.