The Worship Quote of the Week for (06/26/2007):

Worship as a Means to . . .
What do we accomplish in Christian worship? Is there a measurable outcome? Can't we use worship to achieve many good results for God's kingdom? Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a poignant reminder that in Christian worship we should find our complete satisfaction in God. The author is pastor and Christian hedonist John Piper.

If the essence of worship is satisfaction in God, then worship can't be a means to anything else. You simply can't say to God, "I want to be satisfied in you so that I can have something else." Because that would mean that you are not really satisfied in God but in that something else. And that would dishonor God, not worship Him.

But in fact, for many people and pastors, the event of "worship" on Sunday morning is conceived of as a means to something other than worship. We "worship" to raise money; we "worship" to attract crowds; we "worship" to heal human hurts; we "worship" to recruit workers; we "worship" to improve church morale; we "worship" to give talented musicians an opportunity to fulfill their calling; we "worship" to teach our children the way of righteousness; we "worship" to help marriages stay together; we "worship" to evangelize the lost among us; we "worship" to give our churches a family feeling, etc., etc.

In all of this we belittle worship and God. Genuine affections for God are an end in themselves. . . .

I am not denying that vital corporate worship might have a hundred good effects on the life of the church. It will, like true affection in marriage, make everything better. My point is that to the degree that we "worship" for these reasons, it ceases to be authentic worship. Keeping satisfaction in God at the center guards us from that tragedy.

óJohn Piper. THE DANGEROUS DUTY OF DELIGHT: THE GLORIFIED GOD AND THE SATISFIED SOUL. Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2001, pp. 57-59. ISBN 1-57673-883-3. This little book is a condensed version of Piper's DESIRING GOD: MEDITATIONS OF A CHRISTIAN HEDONISTS (Multnomah 1996). See

God is sufficient. Be satisfied.
Have a great week!

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

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