The Object of Our Worship

Individualistic self-indulgence is displayed often by disgruntled parishioners who believe that they are not being “fed” in worship. Worship exists, they argue, “to feed me” – meaning “to please me.” The pleasure they get out of worship becomes the test of its validity. However, the worshiper who is always calculating what he or she is “getting out” of the service is missing the essence of worship: worship is not introverted. It is extroverted – we give to God as we celebrate his acts. That is the essence of worship. When personal gratification is worship’s objective, worship is invalidated. To leave the service with the query, “Now what did I get out of church today?” is to misunderstand the nature of worship.

– Calvin Johansson, Discipling Music Ministry, p. 50, quoted in From Embers to a Flame by Harry Reeder, pp. 189-190.

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