Engage in Relational Worship as a Total Worshipper

Engage in Relational Worship as a Total Worshipper

Worship is the total interaction between the worshipper and the worshipped.  Sometimes, we take worship to mean that part of the service, where the Praise Team leads the congregation with slow songs and prayers praising and/or thanking God.  So, worship is an area of much misunderstanding among members and among Praise Teams. The entire church service is worship!  In fact true worship encompasses the entire life of the Christian.  We may call this Total Worship.  Are you in Total Worship or in church service worship?

Whether you’re a Total Worshipper or a church service worshipper, your worship may become transactional instead of relational.  By Transactional Worship I mean that type of worship that treats the interaction of the worshipper with the worshipped as a transaction, such as buying an item from a store.

In Transactional Worship, the worshipper is looking to get something from the worshipped and that is the reason for worshipping.  People who worship idols tend to engage in Transactional Worship in that their motive for worship is to receive a specific benefit from the idol and not necessarily to establish and sustain a relationship.  I call this type of worship as Paganistic.  So, Paganistic worship is a type of Transactional Worship.

Worshipping the Almighty God, however, requires what I call Relational Worship.  In Relational Worship the worshipper seeks to establish and sustain a relationship with the worshipped.  Rather than looking to get something from God the worshipper is desirous of giving something to God, most importantly his entire being and his resources! (See Psalm 116:12-19)

Here are some major differences between Transactional Worship and Relational Worship.  Transactional Worship is for the self-interest and benefit of the worshipper, whereas Relational worship is for the interest and benefit of God.  Transactional Worship focuses on external display and posture, whereas Relational Worship focuses on activity in the heart, which may result in some external display and posture.  Transactional Worship follows a prescribed set of rules of formality for worship, whereas Relational Worship focuses on spiritual relationship and spontaneous adoration.  In Transactional Worship, by its nature as a transaction, the object of worship is distant.  On the other hand, in Relational Worship the object of worship, God, is personal.  Transactional Worship involves use of formalities of address and approach to the object of worship, whereas Relational Worship involves the use of familial interaction with the object of worship, God.  Transactional Worship most often requires an appointment of time and place, whereas Relational Worship takes place anytime and anywhere.  Transactional Worship involves surrender of the worshipper’s body, whereas Relational Worship involves surrender of the worshipper’s body, soul, spirit, heart, and mind.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)  Check yourself and prayerfully consider whether you engage in Transactional Worship or Relational Worship.

May you engage in Relational Worship as a Total Worshipper for “God is Spirit and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)


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