The Definition of Worship?

What do you say worship is? 
Is worship the music portion of a “church service?”
Is worship the reading of God’s word?
What does the Bible say worship is?
Is it merely a block of time on a Sunday morning?
Is worship a posture or a look?

My friend Zac Hicks is a worship leader at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church.  He has a great blog all about worship, theology, and culture.  Recently he compiled some definitions from various big guns.  Here is that list.

I love this definition of worship by R.A. Torrey:   “Worship is the soul bowing itself in adoring contemplation before the object worshiped. To worship God is to bow before God in adoring contemplation of Himself.”

I remember some time back when we were in the thralls of Luke, looking at the temptation of Jesus in chapter four.  The second temptation has its roots in control and power.  Jesus points out the fact that whatever one thinks about, ruminates upon, ponders, and focuses on ends up being the ultimate thing in ones life.  Therefore “worshipping” on Father makes him ultimate in our lives.  Whatever it is we think about most is the thing we worship.  What is it that I make ultimate in my life?

I really enjoy this short article  by Pastor Andy Stanley on music and worship.  There is a cool download of a fun old hymn “It is Well.”

Just for fun here is the definition of worship:

wor·ship (wur-ship) noun, verb, -shiped, -ship·ing or ( especially British ) -shipped, -ship·ping.

1. reverent honor and homage paid to god or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
3. adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.
5. ( initial capital letter ) British . a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His,  or Her ).
–verb (used with object)
6. to render religious reverence and homage to.
7. to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).
–verb (used without object)
8. to render religious reverence and homage, as to a deity.
9. to attend services of divine worship.
10. to feel an adoring reverence or regard.


  1. Kath says:

    Hi Pastor Mark! I just read this blog to Emma and I asked her the definiton of worship. She says, “It means that you love God.” Meg says that worship means,”We pray to God and we worship God.” (Lofty thoughts from a 6 and 4 year old’s perspective.) Love your blog entries and we love you too!