“SIX E’s OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP”
by Carl L. Stam
Christian Worship Institute
School of Church Music & Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Our purpose in the Christian church and in balanced biblical worship is to glorify God by responding to Jesus Christ through:
- Exalting Him—as Savior and Lord, Creator, and Redeemer.
- Edifying the body—the teaching and preaching ministry through music.
- Exemplifying the values of the Kingdom of God—Christian unity, deference to the preferences and needs of others, sacrificial obedience, people over programs, ministry over money, Christ’s Kingdom over our kingdoms. This includes fellowship, nurture, prayer and social ministries.
- Evangelizing His world—“You shall be my witnesses. Go into all the world.” We have talked about lifestyle worship; we need to believe in and practice lifestyle evangelism as well.
- Embracing our faith heritage—We did not invent the Christian faith in the last years of the 20th century. We are the grateful heirs of a rich biblical faith. In the universal church there is a real sense in which we are connected to the faithful confession of men and women who have gone before us.
- Engaging the world—Will the world transform our worship, or will our worship of God make a difference in the way we see the world around us and engage the world for the sake of Christ? Can we see the lost through the eyes of the Savior? Are we willing to use a language that is fully understandable to the people around us? (Acts 17) Do the ministry of the church and our worship of God come as a blessing to our culture?
“Christian worship is the response of God’s redeemed people to His self-revelation that exalts God’s glory in Christ in our minds, affections, and wills, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Bob Kauflin
Christian worship…is different from every kind of worship because it has been made possible through Jesus Christ. (Rev. 5:9-10)
Is the response…God has already done something outside of us and inside of us that enables us to worship Him. We are not the initiators of worship; God is. (Acts 17:24-31)
Of God’s redeemed people…Just as God delivered the nation of Israel from Egypt to worship Him (Exodus 8:1), so He has redeemed us as a holy nation to declare His praises. (1 Peter 2:9) Worship of God is intended to be corporate, not simply personal.
To his self-revelation…we can’t know God apart from Him revealing Himself to us. He has shown Himself to us in creation, His Word, and ultimately His Son. (Romans 1:20; Hebrews 1:1-4)
That exalts…the essence of worship is exalting –raising up, lifting high, submitting to, magnifying, making much of, honoring, reverencing, celebrating – the triune God. (Psalm 71:19)
God’s glory in Christ…Moses asked God to show him his glory and God passed before him and proclaimed his nature. (Exodus 34:6-7) God has enabled us to see His glory in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
In our minds…worship involves thinking, meditating, reflecting, processing, evaluating, understanding what God has revealed to us of Himself. (Romans 12:1-2; Psalms 111:2)
Affections…true worship involves the heart as well as the head. We worship what we love and value the most. (Matthew 22:37-38)
And wills…If we are truly worshipping God, we will truly be transformed. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) Our choices will reflect our profession that God is supreme in our lives. (Romans 12:1-2)
In the power of the Holy Spirit…We are those who worship by the Spirit of God, (Phillipians 3:3) and depend on His leading and enabling.
- Word to Worship | Find contemporary worship songs based on Scripture
- Worship Together | New Worship Songs Music and Resources