The Worship Quote of the Week for (08/05/2003):

What We Value Most
You’ve probably heard of "life-style worship." Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE comes from the first chapter of a new "life-style worship" book by Louie Giglio.

Think of it this way: Worship is simply about value. The simplest definition I can give is this: Worship is our response to what we value most.

That’s why worship is that thing we all do. It’s what we’re all about on any given day. Worship is about saying, "This person, this thing, this experience (this whatever) is what matters most to me . . . it’s the thing of highest value in my life."

That "thing" might be a relationship. A dream. A position. Status. Something you own. A name. A job. Some kind of pleasure. Whatever name you put on it, this "thing" is what you’ve concluded in your heart is worth most to you. And whatever is worth most to you is—you guessed it—what you worship.

Worship, in essence, is declaring what we value most. As a result, worship fuels our actions, becoming the driving force of all we do.

And we’re not just talking about the religious crowd. The Christian. The churchgoer among us. We’re talking about everybody on planet earth. A multitude of souls proclaiming with every breath what is worthy of their affection, their attention, their allegiance. Proclaiming with every step what it is they worship.

Some of us attend the church on the corner, professing to worship the living God above all. Others, who rarely darken the church doors, would say worship isn’t a part of their lives because they aren’t "religious." But everybody has an altar. And every altar has a throne.

So how do you know where and what you worship?

It’s easy: You simply follow the trail of your time, your affection , your energy, your money, and your allegiance. At the end of that trail you’ll find a throne; and what ever, or whoever, is on that throne is what’s of highest value to you. On that throne is what you worship.

Sure, not too many of us walk around saying; "I worship my stuff. I worship my job. I worship this pleasure. I worship her. I worship my body. I worship me!"

But the trail never lies. We may say we value this thing or that thing more than any other, but the volume of our actions speaks louder than our words.

In the end, our worship is more about what we do than what we say.

—Louie Giglio, THE AIR I BREATHE: WORSHIP AS A WAY OF LIFE. (Sisters, Oregon: Moltnomah, 2003), p. 10. ISBN 1-59052-153-6.

[The idea of "life-style worship" makes me think of Scripture passages like Matthew 6:19-21, Romans 12:1-2, and Colossians 3:17. Take a look. ]

Have a great week.

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky