I recently finished reading for the second time The Great Giveaway by David Fitch. In a chapter on worship, the author argues for more of what he calls “immersive worship” which is “the coalescence of language, music, art, ritual, and symbol enable the faithful to participate in the truth, thereby enabling the worshiper to fully experience it and know it as truth” (p. 113).
Does this mean then that our experience in worship should define what is true worship? Hardly so, says the author. Rather, he says that:
Simply put, faithful worship reveals itself in the shape of the lives it produces. Immersive worship does not deny that robust emotions often coincide with the faithful worship of God, but we will know the faithfulness of those emotions from the quality of our life together (p. 115).
In other words, the true test of our worship will not be how amazing the singing was, how encouraging or challenging the preaching was, how incredible of a video was shown, and so forth. Rather, questions that will reveal the faithfulness of our worship might be questions like…
- Will our worship result in us loving God more love our neighbors more?
- Will our worship result in us becoming more present as the body of Christ among our local neighborhoods?
- Will our worship spur us to greater witness of the gospel among our non-Christian friends and neighbors?
- Will our worship deepen our desire and commitment to holy and righteous living?
Seemingly then, how these questions are answered will either validate our worship as faithful or condemn it as vain.