Worship is not a spectator sport

How was your worship experience today?  Were you moved?  Were you fed?

Common questions.  And I’m not saying they are bad questions.  But I will say that they should not be the only questions we ask after we worship with other disciples of Jesus.  These questions focus only on us.  And worship is not first of all about us!  What’s more, it doesn’t end with the final song.

Here is a fresh reminder of what worship is (and is not) from Kevin G. Harney’s book Seismic Shifts:

Worship is not a spectator sport.  We don’t come to sit in an audience while a group of people perform for us.  There is an audience in worship, but it is not the congregation; it is God.  We, the people of God, are all on the stage, and God alone is the recipient of the praise we express.

Worship is about giving ourselves to God.  …Our worship does not end with the closing prayer or benediction.  Worship is a condition of our heart.

We can’t confine worship to a set time of the week in a certain place.  We are God’s worshippers at all times and in all places. (pp. 66-67, 68)

I’ve quoted Kevin Harney a couple times before…
::  17 Sep 2009:
”Falling Asleep While Praying”
::  19 Sep 2009: “Sword Fighting”

5 thoughts on “Worship is not a spectator sport

  1. Great reminder Stan!!


  2. […] Harney who says in Seismic Shifts that “worship is not a spectator sport…”  I quote that here.    Posted by SjG Filed in Quotes & Media Leave a Comment […]


  3. […] those who love it will eat its fruit.” I’ve quoted from Seismic Shifts before about worship not being a spectator sport and falling asleep while praying.    Possibly related posts: (automatically […]


  4. […] This humorous anecdote has been on up on my office door for quite some time.  It makes a good point, one that I often make: Faith is cumulative.  Faith is not a one-time thing.  Maybe one worship service does not minister to you much.  Maybe a season of worship services does not minister to you much.  Well, keep coming!  You might be surprised how God is feeding your spirit without you realizing it.  (To say nothing about how worship is not first of all meant to be something that ministers to us…) […]


  5. […] we are not the audience who determines whether the worship was any good. God is the audience (as I wrote about here). Worship is not about us and what we like or dislike. People engaging in post-service criticism […]


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