Did you know there are different types of worship? When most people think of worship, they probably think about singing songs, in a church. This can be a great, life-giving experience but it’s not the only time or way you can worship God.
In some cases, the types of worship we’re used to aren’t compatible with our daily lives or don’t suit our personality. Plus, in the busyness of life, daily worship can sometimes fall by the wayside.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to worship God, some of which you may not have thought of. We’ve got a few ideas below.
First though, a brief introduction to worship.
What is worship?
The Bible talks about worship in different ways.
For example, it’s possible to worship idols, humans or ‘created things’, over and above God. That’s probably a topic for another post.
In this post we’re talking about the act of worshipping God. The I Am. Creator. Yahweh. Fill in name here.
The English word ‘worship’ comes from an older word ‘worth-ship’ which gives a pretty good idea of what it’s all about. When we worship, we’re acknowledging God’s infinite worth. It’s a gesture of love and submission which glorifies the one who is worthy and in turn brings us closer to the source of life.
One of the most popular and easiest ways of doing this is by singing songs or hymns, but it doesn’t have to look like this.
Worship isn’t really a specific action at all. It’s a heart position which is reflected and shown in the action you choose.
It’s possible to put on a great display, say all the right words or perform the right actions without having a heart of worship behind it. In Matthew 15:8-9 Jesus criticises the pharisees as people who “honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Ultimately, it’s our hearts that God responds to.
Different types of worship for different settings
Different ways of worshipping suit different people.
Many Christians worship in a church setting, but you can also worship privately or with a small number of people.
Congregational worship differs from denomination to denomination with some opting for liturgy and structured readings and others taking a more informal approach, following the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Whatever it looks like, the church has been gathering in groups, praising, and worshipping God since the early days [1 Corinthians 14: 26].
These are all perfectly legitimate ways of worshipping. But how else can we worship God?
Here’s some classic types of worship and some you may not have thought of.
Sung worship is popular because it is one of the simplest ways of expressing praise and adoration.
You can sing in church and in private and it shouldn’t matter whether you’re a skilled singer or not. As we pointed out above, just as in the story of the poor widow in the Gospels, God cares about your heart, not necessarily the human value we give it.
Songs are a great way of conveying your feelings about God, to God. The book of Psalms, which has been the inspiration for many hymns and songs over the centuries, covers many themes in its songs and poems. In fact, there’s a lot that isn’t covered in many of the songs we sing today.
When was the last time you heard a song of lament or repentance? King David usually finished his songs praising God but often had other things to say first. Have you tried authentically expressing all your feelings to God in a song?
2. Listening to worship music
Worshipping God with music doesn’t necessarily have to involve singing.
Listening to worship music and reflecting on it in your head can be done at any time.
If you’ve got a phone and some headphones you can listen to worship music on the go. That’s also why we added the music tab in our Glorify app which has playlists specifically curated to help you worship.
And whilst contemporary worship music has become the dominant form of worship music in the global church over the last few decades, there are many other styles of music too.
Classical hymns, evensong, and instrumental music can all be great expressions of worship, often including rich biblical lyrics or beautiful sounds, full of the majesty of God.
3. Reading the Bible as worship
Reading the Bible isn’t automatically a form of worship but the process of reading it can lead to a revelation of God and to worship.
There are many ways of reading the Bible, from reading whole books at a time to meditating on single verses.
A lot of people go through a Bible plan or study, which looks at sections of scripture and then allows you to reflect on it.
Reading the Bible in worship should lead to you learning more about God and bring you closer to Him. It’s a source of life and freedom which leads to blessing if you follow it. [James 1: 25]
Journaling Bibles are a great tool for worship, providing space in the margins, to draw or write a response to the passage you’re reading.
When we read with the intent to hear directly from God and meet with Him, it can feel like less of a chore and instead be a life-giving and even life changing experience.
4. Enjoying God’s creation
Observing the awesomeness of creation can be both a prompt for worship and an act of worship itself.
Going for a walk in nature or looking out across an impressive vista can lead us to marvel at the wonder of the earth.
Giving thanks for the good things God has given us puts God in His rightful place and can be a humbling reminder of His grace.
It doesn’t just have to be nature though. It could be a new-born child, incredible architecture or a scientific discovery that makes you want to praise God and the genius of creation; not just what has been created but the good things that humans have created since using their divine creativity!
Speaking of which…
5. Creative expression
Another popular type of worshipping involves using other forms of creative expression besides just singing or writing songs.
You might be gifted in other areas and there’s no reason why you can’t use that to glorify God too. You could paint a picture, design a sculpture, write a book, dance, or something else.
Some of these things can be done in a church setting and some are better suited to private worship, however they are all great ways of praising God.
Again, you don’t need to be super skilled in these areas to worship. If it brings you joy and expresses your heart for God then paint/dance/tinker away! You never know what you might discover.
6. Serving as worship
Another way of worshipping is by serving others and giving your time and money. Romans 12: 1 talks about offering our “bodies as a living sacrifice”. It goes on to say, “This is your true and proper worship”.
Offering our bodies as living sacrifices might sound a bit intense but it can simply look like giving our time to serve others and serve God.
Every day we have a choice of how to use our time, money, and energy. It can be tempting to always prioritise our own comfort or gains but often when we give time to God or others, we find our needs taken care of and blessing follows.
Serving could be spending time with someone who needs company, making a commitment to give financially to the church or others in need or simply offering to help out with a church ministry.
All of this is an act of worship and glorifies God.
Prioritise worship with Glorify
We want to make it easy for you to worship.
The Glorify App is set up so that you can worship in your own time and at your own pace. Many of the types of worship and praise mentioned above can be done with the help of our app.
Each day our daily worship feature offers a Bible reading and commentary expanding on the passage, followed by a guided reflection.
There’s also a range of other content to help you worship from popular worship songs to audible declarations, speaking the truth of God over your life.
With our prayer and journaling tools, you can add to your experience and worship God in your own way, as well as gaining a richer understanding of the word of God.
However you worship, we hope Glorify helps to make it a regular part of your life.