Is worship just singing songs and giving money?

Written by Shawn Naylor

At a church service after we finished singing, the pastor said that we should continue our worship through tithes and offerings. Being the person I am, I began asking myself questions. When does worship end? Is worship just singing songs and giving money?

I looked up the word in English (worship), Hebrew (shachah), and Greek (proskuneo). What I discovered was that the act of worship is a daily and lifelong attitude of awe toward someone or something. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that in everything, good or bad, there is an opportunity to worship.

Knowing there are so many opportunities to worship in my moment-to-moment life began to shape the way I approach things. I gained a new perspective. The way I work at the job God provided can be a form of worship. The way I take care of the earth He made can be worship. How I love my neighbour, my family, my friends—this too, can be worship. We as leaders and believers are called to worship everywhere and in everything that God has placed before us. This verse smushed it into my brain and spirit:

Praise God in his sanctuary;
Praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds (Psalm 150:1-2).

The next intuitive internal question is: What is the quality and conviction of my worship? The way that we engage with our surroundings will always reveal what we worship. My question to you is:

Do you see everything that God has given you as multiplied opportunities to worship Him?

As my mentor Sunder Krishnan says, “All of life is worship.” So, here are some spiritual disciplines you can try to implement daily. Please note that I myself am attempting these things in my life. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail.

  • When obstacles come, thank the Lord for providing a platform for His goodness to shine through.
  • If you have trouble getting along with someone, choose to still thank God for creating that person.
  • Do one “over and above” thing at work or school that will go unnoticed by your peers.
  • Dress better for church than you do when you go out for the night.
  • Count your blessings, no matter how big or small they are, and name them one by one.

God doesn’t stop receiving worship, even if you forget to. “He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out’” (Luke 19:40). A mountain doesn’t stop being a mountain, regardless of whether or not we are there to see it. Likewise, God does not cease to be God in the absence of recognition.