4 Misconceptions about Worship

The past few days, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Bob Kauflin’s newest book True Worshipers: Seeking what Matters to God. Having loved his first book, Worship Matters, I was excited when this one was released last year.

In the second chapter, Worship and Our Inability, Kauflin demonstrates that worship is always initiated by God: “The Bible opens with the words ‘In the beginning, God.’ Not ‘In the beginning, Adam.” Without the initiating grace of God, we are utterly unable to worship him in an acceptable manner. “The ability and desire to worship God is something that God himself gives us.”

In this chapter, Bob also exposes four common misconceptions.

Misconception #1: Worship is more about emotions than words. Though worship involves our whole being—including our emotions—that is not the fullness of worship. “Knowing our Bibles well doesn’t deaden our worship of God but rather informs and enflames it. God will always be much better than anything we could imagine him to be on our own. If we want to grow as true worshipers of God, we won’t simply listen to more music—we’ll seek to encounter him in our Bibles.

Misconception #2: People just argue about the Bible. “[I]t’s misinformed to think that if we just worship God, everything else is unimportant or will work itself out. Unless we read our Bibles well, we won’t know the God we’re worshiping. When we fail to be specific about who God is and what he’s done, we’re really saying we want our own God.”

Misconception #3: Worship is more about the Spirit than about the Word. “Every church or individual Christian who claims to be Spirit-led must be Word-fed. If we want to know more of the Spirit’s power in our lives, we would be wise to fill ourselves with the riches of his Word.”

Misconception #4: The Bible is too hard to understand. “When we take time to read and reflect upon God as the object of our worship, we’re expending energy toward having a real knowledge of the most glorious and valuable being in the universe. That knowledge is a gift from God that enables us to love him more passionately, obey him more consistently, serve him more joyfully, and trust him for more confidently.”

God has called us to worship him in spirit and truth (Jn 4:24). In Jesus Christ this has been made possible. Let us never tire growing in the grace and knowledge of the Savior in order that we may worship him as he truly deserves!

Note: Bob’s passion to maintain the marriage of the Spirit to the Word echoes a long-held conviction of mine. In that vein, you may be interested in two sermons that I preached last fall. Both are found in the sermon archives.

  • Word-Filled Worship (9/20/15)
  • Spirit-Filled Worship (9/27/15)

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