Taking Aim at Worship

Why we need to re-orient our worship.


What we call something or someone matters. Calling your wife, “old lady” may not produce the same effect as “darling.” Referring to your boss as “bro” or “home-girl” may be the start of a beautiful friendship—or a new job search. Terms can change everything.

I’ll never forget the first time someone asked me to be his “girlfriend.” He was cute and played on the JV basketball team, so basically we were soul mates. We were great friends—until he asked me to be his girlfriend. Instead of my hilarious friend who teased me and threw dodge balls at me during gym, he was my boyfriend. How was I supposed to treat a boyfriend? I had no clue; neither did he. We never recovered from the awkwardness of our altered relationship, and another middle school love story ended with dramatic tears outside the girl’s locker room. All because of one little term.

As believers, examining how we’re using foundational words of our faith can remind us of important truths or perhaps even reveal misconceptions that affect our relationship with God. Just like the word “boyfriend” altered my relationship with my first crush, I submit that how we use the term “worship” has important implications for how we interact with and relate to God.

“Man, worship was great this morning.”

“I just don’t like their style of worship.”

“Let’s stand and worship together.”

“The worship at Passion was just so powerful.”

Have you ever caught yourself using the term “worship” in reference only to congregational singing or the music at a Christian conference? You’re not alone. Over time in Christian ...

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