When we’re in the pews on Sunday morning, it’s easy to get caught up in what worship is and means for us. But as followers of Christ, we need to remember that there is a constant need for us to look beyond ourselves, and beyond the walls of the church. Yes, worship strengthens us and encourages us as people already professing faith in God, but we can’t forget the challenge issued to us by Christ in Matthew 28:19 — to go into the world and to tell others about who He is.
Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Psalm 96:1-3 (ESV)
Worship is not about music. This bears repeating, because too often, we make it all about our musical preferences. Worship can never be reduced to music. And it’s sad that we let it happen. Instead, we need to realize that worship is about glorifying God for who He is, and taking that truth to those who have yet to know him. Our hope as a God-honoring worshiping community is for others to join His church.
John Piper put it this way: “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.” (Excerpt: John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010), 35.)
This needs to be on our minds as we worship on Sunday. As we continue this month in our “Looking Outward” series, we need to remember that the songs we sing are our proclamation of who we are and what we believe in, to the community around us. We don’t singing for ourselves, we don’t sing to perform, we sing to proclaim truth.