John 4:23-24 tells us, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
One of the many reasons why God designed the concept of the church community is for people to experience the blessing and respond to the call that is corporate worship. While other parts of a church service is for people -- preaching, discipleship, volunteer management and children's ministry -- worship is something that we do for God.
When God designed man, He created us with the intention to make us worship Him. The idea of corporate worship is written all over the Bible. God called Moses and David to create the tabernacle and temple to allow His people to experience worship. On the day of the Pentecost, God sent down His Spirit so that the early church would experience worship.
But just like anything in ministry, people can have the tendency to ruin the call and experience of worship. Here are four common ways that we tend to ruin worship experiences.
Thinking it's about music
Though worship is mostly expressed through singing songs and playing instruments, worship is not singing. Singing is a means of worship the way giving, discipling and living out holy lives are also forms of worship.
When worship becomes solely about singing songs, we start putting worship in a box just because songs aren't played right or the lyrics aren't as nice as those in other worship songs.
Focusing on the worship leader
We've all heard people in church say, "I didn't really feel the worship was God-honoring because the worship leader did a bad job." While it helps when the worship leader is anointed, to limit the move of God to the effectivity of a person would be the greatest waste.
God moves whether people are qualified or not. God moved when Gideon was a coward, when Moses made excuses and when David was a corrupt politician. Worship is not about who's leading. It has always and will always be about God, and that is what we are to focus on.
Making it a time solely for emotional release
Although worship can be a good time to be set free from emotional baggage, the goal of worship is not to cry, laugh, fall on your knees or get slain. While these are all good things when done in the right context, the true goal of worship is to give honor and glory to God.
Worship is the only thing that we give to God that is not yet His own. When we give money, service or even our own lives, we give Him something that already belongs to Him.
Making it too technical
Worship also has nothing to do with the tempo, rhythm or syncopation. Band dynamics and smooth vocals are good, but without the right heart, worship will be bland entertainment.
God is not looking for mosh pits and concert attendees. He is calling for worshippers who will worship in spirit and in truth.