This week, I am taking my final doctoral seminar class…on Worship. Unbeknownst to many, before I began preaching, I spent 4 years as a Worship Minister for the University Church of Christ that meets on the Pepperdine campus. Those were some of my favorite years of my ministry. There is just something about the praise element of a Sunday that is unique–and there is scarcely more fulfilling ministry than leading God's people in praise.

I've read lots of good stuff in preparation for this class. Beyond those, one of my new favorites is  by Harold Best. Harold Best, in his book, Music Through the Eyes of Faith, defines worship in the broadest sense as
“acknowledging that someone or something else is greater – worth more – and by
consequence, to be obeyed, feared, and adored…Worship is the sign that in giving
myself completely to someone or something, I want to be mastered by it." (pg.

Worship is, at it's essence, submitting ourselves through praise and covenant to the reign of God. This is true of all elements of worship. Praise isn't worship. True praise, prayer, preaching, listening, and coming to the table all engage us in, one way or another, giving ourselves completely God to be mastered by Him.

Question: What is the most powerful element of worship for you?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Share Your Thoughts

10 thoughts on “Worship

  1. I have many but the one that came to mind first is the connection I have with other brothers and sisters in Christ.
    I thought of the scene in Revelation where John was witnessing “church” in the very throne room of God! What an incredible sight that must have been.
    In the same way, it humbles me that I am joining in worship with not only christians in the building but citywide, worldwide and even past and future!
    I pray He is pleased with the offering.

  2. Im a big fan of Harold Best myself. In Unceasing worship he defines worship as, “the continuous outpouring of all that I am, all that I do and all that I can ever become in light of a chosen or choosing god.”
    Hope your enjoying your last class. and all the beaches.

  3. I agree with Brad and say worship in song and add Lord’s Supper devotionals.
    I really enjoy a good mix of old gospel songs and new songs as well.
    God bless! Grace and Peace.

  4. Music does it for me, whether it is really good a cappella singing, a full blown band, or one guy with a guitar on stage leading a crowd in worship to God. My favorite is probably the Passion stuff that Tomlin and those guys do. I’m pretty sure He will be a worship leader in heaven.
    “….my chains are gone, I’ve been set free….” Awesome!!! I’m going to go play that right now!

  5. Thanks Shannon. You’re a great young man with a terrific heart. It’s a blessing knowing you.
    Rtrr… very interesting. I’m in a worship class right now with a fellow that feels the same way. Not the typical answer, and your point about the need for more of it in church is one well taken as well.

  6. Tim,
    I loved your thoughts in your post. Like you Tuesday, it is after two in the morning and I can’t sleep. Brother you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I know it has been a while since we have spoken, but I have to tell you what a blessing you have been to me through your preaching and visiting with you at Tulsa. Thank you. I look forward to seeing where God will use you for the glory of His Kingdom. I love you brother.

  7. Confession of sin and asking for forgiveness. I look forward to the day when we can do that in our church as a body instead of individually and surreptitiously. rtrr