the weblog of Alan Knox

Should we worship when the church meets together?

Posted by on Feb 8, 2010 in gathering, worship | 9 comments

“Should we worship when the church meets?”

I believe that’s the wrong question. For a follower of Jesus Christ… someone who is a child of God… all of life should be lived in a way that brings glory to God. Thus, every thought, attitude, and action should bring worship to God.

This happens when we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us, when we do not hinder the work that the Holy Spirit desire to do in and through us. Thus, when we obey God, we worship him.

The question is, “What does God want us to do when we meet together?” When we do what God wants us to do, then we are worshiping him.


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  1. 2-8-2010

    But why is it called a worship service then Alan?

  2. 2-8-2010


    I don’t know when people started calling church meetings by the name “worship service.” That would be an interesting study.


  3. 2-8-2010

    When was it called a “service”? Can you find that out to while you are researching 8)

  4. 2-9-2010

    Of course God wants us to worship him when we meet together, but not just when we meet together. Is that what you are saying? The OT does seem to link worship with the temple and with sevices, bowing down, kneeling, showing reverential fear. But the NT refers to worship as a heart attitude – as you say a submission to the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the fulfilment of the temple, abides in our hearts. We should worship constantly, as well as in a church meeting. But it is possible to attend a church service and never worship at all.

    In Acts, doesn’t it say that they met together to pray and study the scriptures? It also says that they met to break bread together. This could be considered edification. Paul met with believers in Troas to worship and celebrate communion. Would you not call that a worship service?

    Paul told the Corinthians that they should meet together to worship God, but that they should also encourage one another and sing songs. He said that they should do both – worship God and edify one another – not either or.

  5. 2-9-2010


    I don’t know. I’ll look.


    We are to worship God at all times. The question is, “How do we worship God when we’re together?” Actually, the New Testament (Corinthians in particular) doesn’t say that we meet together to worship. Acts doesn’t say that they met together to pray and study the Scriptures. Instead, where the New Testament authors do talk about the purpose of meeting together, they always use the language of mutual edification / encouragement.


  6. 2-9-2010

    If we are to worship God at all times, as a way of life, then how could we not worship when gathered together?

    Is worshipping together with prayer and praise and studying scripture not also edifying and encouraging? If not, then how exactly are Christians suppose to edify, encourage or build up one another apart from worship in their meeting together?

    Other than praise and study, we pray for one another, discuss how to meet needs, take offerings, share testimonies, eat together, witness together, mourn together, comfort each other. Do we cease to worship God when we do these things? What else should we be doing when we meet together? I must still be missing your point.

  7. 2-9-2010


    “If we are to worship God at all times, as a way of life, then how could we not worship when gathered together?” Yes, we should worship when we gather together. But, that doesn’t mean that what is generally called “worship” is actually an expression of worship to God.

    The things that you mention can very much be a part of worshiping God when we meet together. Scripture also shows us that doing certain things does not necessarily mean that we are worshiping. For example, in 1 Corinthians 11, the believers in Corinth were eating and drinking but Paul says it was not “the Lord’s Supper” because of the way they were treating one another.

    From my perspective, Scripture teaches that we worship God when we are gathered together when we all work together to build one another up (edify one another) toward maturity in Christ motivated by love for one another. For many churches today, the “one another” aspect of that description is lacking.


  8. 11-30-2012

    “Worship” conveys two ideas: submission and service. The NT includes both ideas for the believer in Christ related to life as a whole and when gathering as Jesus’ disciples.

    Here are two articles which expand on this.

    “Worship At All Times, But Meet Primarily To Edify”

    “What Does It Mean To Gather As Christ’s Church?”

    It is difficult to say where edification and worship start and stop. They usually overlap and there is no reason to treat them as compartmental or competing concepts. When we are submitting to and serving one another, in a variety of ways (Eph. 4-6), we are also submitting to and serving God.

    Spirit and truth should pervade all we do as redeemed people in the home, community and church. Family duties, daily work, community involvement and church activities (e.g., Bible reading, teaching, study and discussion; sharing our spiritual gifts and earthly goods with one another; breaking bread as a New Covenant saints; praising God via songs and prayers; missionary enterprises) may be viewed as worship (submission & service to God) which edifies (builds up and spiritually matures) one another.

  9. 11-30-2012


    Thanks for the links. I’ve also noticed that the term “worship” refers to submission and service, and often both in the same context.