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Why do Christians worship?

Why do Christians worship God? And what does it mean to worship?

Read time: 5 minutes and 34 seconds

All of us worship—it’s just a question of what we worship. For some, it’s their family; for others, their football team, or their job, or money, or someone on social media… And some even worship themselves.

Why do people do this? Because there is something deep in the human heart that is wired for worship.

As Christians, we believe that human beings are created “in the image of God”

We worship because it’s what we were made for

As Christians, we believe that human beings are created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27). So, we worship God because it connects us with the one from whom we came and in whom we alone find true meaning and fulfilment. There is something deep within us that is completed and fulfilled when we connect with and worship our Creator. But if people reject God, then they have to fill that ‘hole’ inside them by worshipping someone or something else.

We worship because God is our creator

If God is the supreme being of the universe, perfect in his being and his ways, as Christians believe, and if he brought everything into existence from nothing, including us, it is natural to want to acknowledge that, as we stand in awe of the amazing creation that we both are and live in. Yet it is not only amazement; for worship also reminds us that we are dependent beings, not the Masters of the Universe, which is how many people like to see themselves and why so many hate the idea of worship: it reminds us that we are not God.

The English word ‘worship’ comes from the old English word ‘woerthship.’ We worship because God is worth it!

We worship because God is worth it

The English word ‘worship’ comes from the old English word ‘woerthship.’ We worship because God is worth it! We believe in honouring him for who he is and what he has done—in creation, in history, in our lives. And yet, his worth is so great, so infinite, that we could worship for ever and still only just have scratched the surface; which is why the desire to worship is never exhausted.

We worship because God has rescued us

If you were at death’s door and you were saved only because someone donated their kidney to you, you would be forever grateful. Well, that’s how Christians feel. We had messed up our lives and wandered far from God—what the Bible calls ‘sin’; yet God sent his own Son, Jesus, to rescue us from our sin and situation by dying on the cross to pay the price of that sin. So we inevitably want to say, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for saving me!” And it doesn’t stop there! Because God goes on sharing his life, heart and wisdom with us day after day, and so we just want to go on saying, “Thank you!”

Christianity Why do Christians worship?

We worship because it fuels the connection

Worship helps us connect with God at the deepest level of our being because it reminds us of both who we are—dependent, limited human beings—and who he is—Almighty God who has no limits. Even better, this God is our Heavenly Father who loves us and always wants the best for us. So why wouldn’t we want to connect into that?

Corporate worship adds another dimension to this connection, for through corporate worship we are reminded that we aren’t alone. We are part of a huge family that belongs to God, stretching through time and space, united in the same goal and purpose. And worshipping God together reminds us of this and encourages us in this.

We worship because it is de-centring

Worship is one of the best ways of reminding ourselves that not everything in life is about ‘me’—so needed in days when modern culture tells us that everything is about ‘me’. Christians believe that the purpose of life is much bigger than ‘me’. It is about me and you and the world and God—and life works best when we put God, not ‘me’, at the very centre of all that we are and do. And worship is one of the best ways to help us do that by de-centring and focusing on something bigger than ourselves.

God is our Heavenly Father who loves us intensely, and so we worship him, not out of fear, but out of joy.

What worship is

For Christians, worship is a way of life. Many people think of worship as singing or raising hands in praise - and this can be worship. Worship might involve praying, or perhaps silent meditation on God’s word. But mostly, worship is living our lives in a way that constantly seeks to acknowledge and honour God.

What worship isn’t

To help us understand what worship is, it’s worth exposing some misconceptions about why Christians worship.

We don’t worship because…

…God is a megalomaniac who constantly needs telling how good he is. We worship because he is our Heavenly Father and we love him!

…God needs continually recharging. He is not some kind of divine battery that needs constantly topping up through worship. God already has everything he needs; so, our worship adds nothing to him, and our lack of worship takes nothing away from him.

…God is an ogre who needs appeasing. Although some religions see worship as a way of keeping God happy or at bay, there is no suggestion of this in the Bible. God is our Heavenly Father who loves us intensely, and so we worship him, not out of fear, but out of joy.

Further up and further in

Worship is, to borrow a phrase from the great Christian author C.S. Lewis, about going “further up and further in.” It’s about movement—something that many of the various words for worship in Hebrew and Greek (the language of the original Bible) convey. Worship is about movement into God’s heart, plans and purposes; and that’s why it is never exhausted, never boring; for there is always more to explore, always an adventure ahead.

One day, the Bible tells us, every human who has ever lived will bow down and worship God and his Son, Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11). Some will do so joyfully, as they are face to face with their Lord and Creator at last; others will do so reluctantly, as they have to face up to the realisation that they had not known the Creator God.

Why not choose the best response right now?