What does God-centered worship mean and what are its implications?
Put simply, worship that is God-centered is worship that revolves around and proceeds from God, not any human ingenuity, program, paradigm or plan. It keeps and maintains that the highest end and the compelling reason to worship is God Himself – responding to who He is and what He has done.
So what then are the implications of God-centered worship? I think Marva Dawn, in her book A Royal “Waste” of Time has several insights in the following quote I have found helpful in thinking along these lines; she writes:
I think our churches need to do much deeper thinking about what it means to worship God, what it means to nurture and to live the life of faith, what it means to be a Christian community that offers alternatives to the world, and how we can best reach out to our neighbors with the gospel and in service to them. In order to do all that we have to stop asking which style of music to use and ask instead what will help us keep God at the center.
God-centered worship has then the following implications:
1. God honoring
2. Character developing
3. Alternative-community forming
4. Mission equipping
5. Kingdom extending
These are implications rather then characteristics . What I mean is that when our worship of God has Him as the subject and object, when He is the center of our worship, it will honor God in His worthiness and glory over the world, develop our character as His people following after Jesus in the world, form our corporate life into an alternate community within the world, equip us for our mission to participate in God’s saving, restoring gospel work to the world, and extend His reign and rule throughout the world.
These are the results we should see and expect when we have God as the center of our worship.