Spiritual Pathways - Worship

Posted by Kevin |

Spiritual pathways to God; Creation, Relational, Contemplative, Serving, Worship, Intellectual and Activism.


I've been slacking in finishing this series of thoughts - my Pennsylvanian friend Pearl recently posted some pathway thoughts - here and here.

Worship in my mind has two lanes in connecting us to God.

1st - the traditional lane of worship is song - as mainstream Christianity has defined it as a 5 song set called 'worship' during Sunday morning services, led by a 'worship' team. This form of worship is an amazing opportunity to corporately worship God and for a lot of Christians is a powerful pathway.

My beef with this lane of the pathway is that I think a lot of people mistake the emotional excitement of this form of worship with an actual connection with God. I'm not judging, but it has been my personal experience. So, a lot of times instead of singing aloud - I close my eyes on Sunday mornings and just say the words with my heart.

2nd - the holistic lane of worship is the idea that our lives are to be worship and so in all things we do, we do it as worship to God. This idea definitely makes me feel connected when I actively do it. This form of worship is saying 'through my God-given talents and passions, I will glorify God.'

I love this way of connecting - 'cause honestly, I suck at singing, can barely keep rhythm and have no real musical talent. But that doesn't make me a bad worshipper - my passions, my dreams, my relationships - all become forms for me to worship God. I'm thankful for the talents I have and I use them to honor God.

That's worship to me - what do you think?


Kirstynn Evans said...

This was an interesting thought. Thank you! In my personal form of worship, I, like you, feel that I can effectively worship quietly, and peacefully. It is in the moment, that I really feel the spirit, and am able to partake of what God is willing to give to me. Unlike you though, I HAVE RYTHM!!!

Kevin Davis said...

I don't know Kirstynn - you look as white as me!

Seda said...

I, like you, prefer Path 2, in which my whole life becomes my prayer. I would so much like to live my life that way, as a simple expression of unconditional love.

I don't think you need to tie into any particular dogma or church or term-for-God to do it. I think the heart of it is just that simple - unconditional love - and just that difficult.

Kevin, I'm grateful for one thing in my shotgun challenge to the Christian blogosphere. For some time I've been very resistant to the term 'god,' and have used the Universe as default. Same thing, really. But in my attempt to connect with Christians, and both understand them and be understood by them, I find that my resistance to that term has gone away. I still think of God as I did before - as love, life, mind, truth, the universe (and not Jesus) - but I can call her God again.

That's kind of cool.

Jharp242 said...

What about the people that do have musical gifting? Or the ones that feel that they do? Are they only caught up in "emotional excitement"? Or are they worshipping? Is this form of worship less valuable or desirable to GOD because it is deemed "corporate"?
Is the "holistic lane" a non-emotional experience? Its seems odd to say "Through using my God-given talents and passions, I will glorify God", and have that not be considered an emotional experience.
Don't get me wrong, I know what you're saying here.... but I think its incorrect to simply label all musical worship as "Corporate". I doubt GOD considered Davids Psalms to be "corporate". I also am confident that when I worship, Musically, that God accepts that worship with equal weight as when you worship while working in the yard. As worship is not about how WE feel AT ALL. Its simply about glorifying HIM. So regardless of how talented we are, if our hearts are truly in "worship-mode", that is what makes GOD smile.
Thats what I think. You asked. LOL

Kevin Davis said...

Harp -

First lets start by understanding that this is my take on the different pathways that connect us to God. You would right this differently not just because your talents are different but also because your experiences have been different.

i.e. My 'beef' stems from years of going to a pentecostal church/college and the hyper-emotionalism that is often implied as God moving. Moreover, I'm in no way trying to say what is legit for others - just myself, just my take on the worship pathway. But emotions aren't bad or in my opinion less than valid. God gave us emotions and our emotions are often stirred when God is moving/speaking, etc. But in my experiences, my emotions have been manipulated as a cheap exchanged for God's presence - that's all.

As far the 'corprate' statement, I think a lot of spiritual disciplines have lost their balance of corporate (with community) and the individual (your personal walk). Too many Christians use Sunday to corporately count for their own prayer, worship, bible study, etc. But God want's me to pray, me to study, me to walk with Him, not just in community. And I wasn't labeling all musical worship as corporate - but that is what people think of when you say worship. What I'm saying is that worship is beyond just music - what I'm not saying is that the 'beyond' is better than music. Music is your talent your way to worship and lead in our community. Mine is being awesome.

I'm with you though, worship is the posture of our hearts and the expression of our God-given talents to the best of our abilities.

That's what I meant, you asked. LOL :)

jharp242 said...

I agree with most of what you've said/say. I just think that its a slippery road when we start saying that one way/path/lane/etc... is "better" (for lack of a better word) than others. You are right, we would write this differently. And likely, neither of us would be wrong. I just felt an urge to respond because the tone of your post was somewhat of "my way is the more LEGIT way". Any way, like I said- I really do know the point(s) you are making, I too just like the debate. :)