Every Sunday morning I’m tapping my foot along to the worship songs, but not to the beat. I am waiting for the songs to be over so I can listen to the sermon. I know others feel the same way, but don’t like to admit it. It’s a stereotype among believers that Christians love to sing and consider it the ultimate form of worship. There is also the misconception that it is the only type of worship.
I am not shy to share that I don’t feel closer to God when I’m singing, because I feel closer to Him doing other activities. I don’t think when I get to Heaven I will be singing the whole time. Heaven isn’t going to be believers in white robes singing all four verses of Amazing Grace over and over again. Singing and music, in my opinion, is a limited definition of worship.
Marrium-Webster(1) defines worship as the following:
- to honor or show reverence for a divine being or supernatural power
- to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion
- reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power
- a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual
- extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem
Did you notice nothing in the definition refers to singing?
I see you grinning! Yes, you can worship however you want! As long as it honors God it can be considered worship! Even I am trying to contain my excitement.
Recently, I was able to take the Spiritual Pathways Test (2). This is from the book “An Ordinary Day with Jesus” by John Ortberg and Ruth Haley Barton. Spiritual pathways describe different ways to connect with God. The categories are relational, intellectual, worship, activist, contemplative, serving, and creation. SEVEN unique ways to draw you closer to the King, not just one, not just worship.
Relational. Spiritual growth comes with meaningful relationships. Being alone is torturous. God often speaks to you through other people.
Intellectual. Spiritual growth comes with learning more about Jesus. You love to think deeply about serious topics. You problem solve spiritual issues.
Worship. Spiritual growth comes with corporate praise. Worshiping makes you come alive and open up. Enthusiasm is an understatement.
Activist. Spiritual growth comes with facing challenges. You have a strong sense of vision and a passion to grow the church. You want to bring out other’s potential.
Contemplative. Spiritual growth comes with time for reflection. You love time alone and have a lot of capacity for prayer. Social gatherings drain you.
Serving. Spiritual growth comes with helping others. As soon as you have a role, you feel you have a purpose and sense God’s presence. You seek out ways to serve.
Creation. Spiritual growth comes with being in nature. Symbols help you grow and nature revives you. You tend to be creative.
These are the scores I got when I took the Spiritual Pathways test. As expected the lowest one is worship and the highest ones are activist and intellectual.
I feel closest to God when I am studying the Bible or reading a good self-help book. During the sermon, I always take notes and I often look back on those notes if the sermon hit me especially hard. Working hard and doing my best also brings me closer to God. I feel like I am respecting God when I go above and beyond at my job, finish my school work on time or even folding the laundry well.
Yes, I worship when I do housework.
But you may not. The next steps for you are to check out “An Ordinary Day with Jesus.” I encourage you to take the Spiritual Pathways Test and figure out what makes you draw closer to God. Stop feeling bad for not liking singing and start worshiping in other ways.
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