By Daniel Yang
The word worship is defined in the dictionary as “to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion” (Merriam-Webster definition). If we asked our entire congregation, the term worship will be defined similarly. Some members may even have the same exact answer! We also see that the word praise and worship is interchangeable/used in the same way. What I want to explain to you is what praise and worship mean to me.
Most of you know that I lead praise and worship every Sunday at our services. I have the honor and privilege to be part of the Worship Team and to lead the members to the passion that worship brings into the church. But what was my journey to get here?
My first two years coming to Virginia, I had the opportunity to learn guitar from an old hyung (brother) from our church. From there, with the leadership of the children’s ministry’s coordinator, we decided to make a Praise Team. I only joined because I was a pastor’s kid and my mom thought it would be good for me. From learning how to play Every Move I Make, I Could Sing of Your Love, and etc., the process was actually fun. However, I wasn’t in love with worship. I didn’t understand the true meaning of why we worship or praise.
Fasting forward to 9th grade, I had the chance to join the Praise Team to lead worship for our Youth Ministry. I really did it because no one else was available or knew how to play guitar. The plus side of joining was a lot of my friends that I grew up with at church were all part of it too. And boy did we have fun! We went from playing at praise festivals to retreats, to joint prayer meetings and it was a journey that we all seemed to enjoy. The question here was, did we enjoy it because of the fellowship or did we enjoy it because we love worship? This was something that I couldn’t really answer nor did I have an answer at the time.
The thing about worship is that it's not just about playing instruments or leading songs during services or meetings. Worship becomes and should be an everyday thing in our lives as Christians. Worship becomes a critical part of our joy and walk with God in all aspects of life. Worship needs to be filled with passion and reverence. Worship is an intimate process that leads us into a deeper relationship with our loving Father. If worship starts to overfill your life, there will be no room for doubt or sinfulness to creep in. That is why it’s so important that worship becomes an everyday thing for followers of Christ. The reality of it is in the definition of praise. Merriam-Webster defines praise “to glorify (a god or saint) especially by the attribution of perfections.”
Here is the reason why I worship.
We have a God who is perfect. Do you see the implications of that? We have a Father in Heaven that is perfect, who loves us so much that He sent His only and one Son. That Son who walked this earth was also perfect, lived a perfect life, walked the streets and changed the world because He was perfect. He went to the cross and died for our sins to bear our imperfection, our sinfulness, our failures and our suffering. But because He was perfect, He overcame death and brought us life and new hope.
Worship brings me humbleness of knowing that I am loved by a perfect God. Worship gives me joy and peace knowing that I am secured by a perfect God. Worship leads me to bring all my imperfections to the perfect God who will show me grace and mercy. I have a sense of gratitude because I am undeserving but God has still provided. This is the reason why I sing.
In a world where people seek perfection, from job to school or friends to family, why isn’t there a willingness to worship the already existence of perfection in our God?
“A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” - Psalms 100: 1-4