Singing is a form of worship, but worship is more than singing. I am pretty sure most of you know that, and yet, it is so common to hear Christians say, “I love the worship at this church” when of course they mean, “I love the music/singing.” I think it is a crucial issue to get right.
What if I thought sex could be equated with marriage? “Honey, I love our marriage. I love every time we marry! OK, now let’s go have some quality time at the beach.”
Would that fly? Of course not! And yet, Christians say, “yeah, yeah, I know worship is more than just the music, but you know what I mean.” The reason that is not helpful is because you know how close to the heart of God worship is. Every time you open your Bible you cannot go very far without hearing the idea that God loves the worship and devotion and affection of Christians. So when you throw the word ‘worship’ around inaccurately, it makes music more than it is supposed to be, and makes prayers and Scripture reading and the preaching of the Word less than it is supposed to be.
Hear me correctly: corporate singing is a part of corporate worship (a non-negotiable part I think). But that is not all there is to corporate worship. Just like sex is a part of marriage. But clearly, there is more to marriage than that. And just as your spouse would almost be offended to think that you nearly equate sex with marriage, how do you think God feels when we equate singing with worship?