Now, I want to be careful here. I don’t want to bash the people in this video. I’m sure most of them were honestly trying to worship God. In the churches I grew up in, I remember going to gatherings which had elements like this (and I was uncomfortable then as well as now).
The question that still goes through my head when watching gatherings like this one is, “Why?”
Why do you think this is worship?
Why do you choose to worship in this way?
Why are you doing what you are doing?
My nine-year-old son was watching the video with me. I asked him, “What makes this different from what we do at camp, on Sundays?… We do actions to songs… Some of you dance around during the singing time…”
I love what he said. “I don’t get what they are saying. We sing songs about who God is and how much we love him, and we do actions and dance around not to get attention but for God. They look like they are just dancing around.”
Again, I’m not trying to pass judgement on the people in the video. There’s nothing wrong with dancing around and twirling your socks in the air. But I have a hard time seeing this as “worship.”
That begs the question, “Well, then, what is worship?”
The best definition I’ve found for worship comes from Teaching Kids Authentic Worship by Kathleen Chapman. She defines worship as “paying attention only to God.” She compares it to a boy playing a video game. The only thing he is paying attention to is that video game. He doesn’t hear anyone else, he doesn’t see anything else… his whole attention is focused on that game. In that instance, he is “worshipping” that game. The same goes for worshipping God. When we do something for God, paying attention to him while we do it, then we are doing that something as worship whether it’s singing, dancing, reading the Bible, taking out the trash… whatever. Worship is not about me, it’s about God. Worship doesn’t simply result in warm fuzzies, but results in action… in mission.
- How would you define worship?
- What do you teach kids worship is? How do you teach worship to them?