The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/11/2007):

Worship: Glorying in God's Holy Name
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is from a brand new book about the church by John Stott. He suggests that worship is the church’s preeminent duty.

It is often said that the church’s preeminent responsibility is evangelism. But this is not so, for at least three reasons. First, evangelism comes under the heading of our duty to our neighbor, whereas worship is our duty to God and our duty to God must take precedence over our duty to our neighbor.

Second, although all of us are expected to share the gospel with others whenever the opportunity presents itself, evangelism is also a spiritual gift or CHARISMA that is give only to some. Thus not all Christians are evangelists (see Ephesians 4:11), but all Christians are worshipers, both in private and in public.

Third, evangelism is a temporary activity, which will cease when the Lord Jesus comes to consummate his kingdom. But our worship will continue throughout eternity.

This being so, namely that worship is the church’s preeminent duty, we should surely give it our closest attention.

What, however, is worship? Perhaps the best scriptural definition is to be found in Psalm 105:3. To worship is to “glory in God’s holy name.” God’s name is his revealed character. It is “holy” because it is unique, set apart from and above all other names. And once we glimpse the holiness of God’s great name, we see the fitness of “glorying” or reveling in it. Indeed, we are to join with all creatures in pronouncing him worthy of our praise, because he is both our Creator and our Redeemer (Revelation 5:9-14) Because of who God is, it is appropriate that we should “worship at his footstool” (Psalm 99:5).

[In the rest of this chapter, Stott explains that true worship according to Scripture has four main characteristics: it is biblical, congregational, spiritual, and moral. The following chapter expounds on the importance of “Evangelism: Mission through the Local Church.” Stott writes, “Worship leads to witness, and witness to worship.”]

--John Stott, THE LIVING CHURCH: CONVICTIONS OF A LIFELONG PASTOR. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007, pp. 34-35. ISBN-13: 978-0-8308-3486-0.

Have a great week!

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

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view a complete
index of worship quotes, please visit