The topic of worship is so far-reaching that it can’t possibly be covered in one sermon or one blog post. But here are some thoughts on the subject from the Bible, from writers, theologians, worship-leaders and songwriters to stimulate our thinking on the topic.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Rom 12:1-2)

“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognise what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Rom 12:1-2, The Message)

“A time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” (Westminster Catechism)

“Worship is the total alignment of our heart, soul, mind and strength with the will of God. It is our whole-hearted response to God’s extravagant love and mercy.” (Worship Central)

“Worship is a deliberate and disciplined adventure in reality.” (Willard Sperry)

“Worship is… our response, both personal and corporate to God – for who He is and for what He has done – expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.” (Louie Giglio)

“Worship is not primarily man’s initiative but God’s redeeming act in Christ through his Spirit.” (Nikos A. Nissiotis)

“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.” (William Temple)

“Worship is centering our mind’s attentions and our heart’s affections on the Lord.” (Bruce Leafblad)

“Worship of the true and living God is essentially an engagement with Him on the terms that He proposes and in the way that He alone makes possible.”(David Peterson)

“Worship is an active expression of our love towards God. It is vibrant and visible by our deeds and not only by the words we speak.” (Darlene Zschech)

“Faith is at the root of all true worship, and without faith it is impossible to please God.” (A. W. Tozer)

“Our worship services need to immerse us in God’s splendour.” (Marva J. Dawn)

“Worship must be vital and real in the heart and must rest on a true perception of God.” (John Piper)

“The fuel of worship is the truth of God; the furnace of worship is the spirit of man; and the heat of worship is the vital affections of reverence, contrition, trust, gratitude and joy. The Holy Spirit provides the ignition and fire.” (John Piper)

“We live as worshippers of the otherly in a culture of the ordinary… In worship, explanation gives way to mystery. And mystery leads us to reverence and awe.”(Matt Redman)

“The core of worship is when one’s heart and soul, and all that is within, adores and connects with the Spirit of God.” (Darlene Zschech)

“The real issue in worship isn’t so much about songs and style but the larger issue of Story: the story of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (J. D. Walt)

“An authentic life is the most personal form of worship.” (Sarah Ban Breathnach)

“Worship is kindled within us only when the Spirit of God touches our human spirit.” (Richard Foster)

“Every once in a while remind the worshippers of God that competence isn’t a fruit of the Spirit – and watch freedom walk in the room.” (quoted by Chris Tomlin)

“Worship means to seek after God, to chase after a glimpse of His glory.” (Tim Hughes)

“Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth.” (John Piper)

“Worship pours from the overflow of our hearts.” (Tim Hughes)

“Worship without mission is self-indulgent. Mission without worship is self-defeating.” (Bishop Graham Cray)

“At the heart of worship, we as God’s creation choose to centre ourselves around God, our creator. We live to bless Him.” (Tim Hughes)

“It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men.” (C. S. Lewis)

“Extravagant worship means to be elaborate in our offering of admiration to God… Excessive, abundant, expensive, lavish, costly, rich, priceless, valuable.” (Darlene Zschech)

” The revelation of God is the fuel for the fire of our worship. And there is always more fuel for the fire. When we open the eyes of our heart, God’s revelation comes flying at us from so many different angles.” (Matt Redman)

“Worship is inviting people to pursue God wholeheartedly and in so doing mature into lifestyles that are in themselves a living sacrifice and which reflect God-worship as a way of life.” (mission statement of

“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.” (A. W. Tozer)

“You and I were made to worship;
You and I are called to love;
You and I are forgiven and free.
When you and I embrace surrender,
When you and I choose to believe,
Then you and I will see
What we were meant to be.”
(Chris Tomlin)

“Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come’.” (Revelation 4:8)

I’d love to hear your definitions of worship. Leave a comment and we can continue exploring what worship is and means to us all.