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Mar 09 2007

Gordon MacDonald: What is Worship?

Gordon MacDonald provides a definition of worship:

Worship is happening when a person or a people take time to reflect upon and honor the nature and the actions of God by offering him praise, thanksgiving, confession, offerings, and a submissive heart and mind. This can be done through the medium of song, silent meditation, speech, sacramental activity, and other forms of artistic expression. Preaching may be a part of these functions, but not necessarily the most important part.

MacDonald also lists a number of outcomes that should be evident where true worship has taken place:

  • Worship should draw a sharp contrast between the kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • Worship should focus on the living God and his revelation of himself as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • Worship should bring to our consciousness the acts and the character of God.
  • Worship should call the worshiper to repentance – a confession of  sinfulness in contrast to God’s righteousness and a resulting sense of forgiveness and restoration.
  • Worship should cause the worshiper to inventory his or her blessings in life and give thanks.
  • Worship should provide a chance for one to see his or her work in the perspective of the Kingdom and give from the profits of labor.
  • Worship should make the worshiper feel prayed for in terms of personal needs.
  • Worship should refine the perspective of people so they see and pray for world events in light of the Kingdom purposes of God.
  • Worship should offer encouragement and insight from the preached Word.
  • Worship should send people back into the "streets" of the world with a renewed sense of energy, confidence, and purpose.

From "What is Worship" by Gordon MacDonald.  Read the entire article and commentary here.

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