Worshipping God should be a natural part of every true believer. However, those who are and have been in preeminence have devised formulas for worship counter to the Word of God. True worship can only take place when we follow God’s way and not man’s way; particularly by our obedience to him in spirit and in truth; in spirit, meaning to be directed by the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus Christ.
23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:3
The form that most worship takes today is completely baffling unless you understand the dynamics of ecclesiastical preeminence. It is the elite who have altered worship into a humanistic preeminent form.
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:1-9
When we look at the New Testament churches, we see the emphasis on fellowship. Worship was something that would naturally spring forth in dynamic fashion according to the guidance of Jesus Christ. In I Corinthians chapter 14 we see the believers getting together in a true fellowship with every individual being guided by the one and only Shepherd – Jesus Christ. There is no static predictability; no orchestrated worship service. In obedience to Jesus’ guidance, we clearly see the picture of truly worshipping God in spirit and in truth.
The Corinthian fellowship was totally inclusive; where everyone was a participant and had a platform for whatever Jesus provided for them to share with the assembly. And when everything was moving along with clarity, some of the unbelievers who attended were going to be convicted and spontaneously bow down in worship to Jesus Christ.
24But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. I Corinthians 14:24-25
In the New Testament church, worship is not a form but an expression of spirit and truth. If it is not spontaneous it is in danger of being unreal or deceptive. It is important to differentiate between a performance having a specific purpose and true fellowship. You could have a performance scheduled with singers and other musicians to play songs that have worshipful themes. However delightful that might be, that is not worship.
Today we typically have what the preeminent have acculturated into our psyche and which they have labeled a “Worship Service” which is often referred to and considered synonymous with Christian fellowship. It is basically a production with rigid guidelines putting most people in neat rows as spectators and most often the preeminent actors in an elevated position. Week after week the actors get more and more polished, more and more comfortable on stage, and elevated to a higher “professional” status. Whereas the spectators feel themselves becoming more and more inadequate as they basically are just observers. Their most significant activity is perhaps mentally giving a thumb’s up or down to the performance. You put in your hour or so of “worship” pass the “peace” and that is pretty much it for what the preeminent ones tell you is worship and fellowship.
That scenario is opposite to almost everything you see in the New Testament. True believers should feel a hollowness and leave with a feeling that something just does not seem right. Preeminent ones have turned fellowship into a vain worship service that glorifies those who are preeminent and not really God at all, since he has told us that kind of worship is not pleasing to God but mere vanity.
There are some New Testament references to worship which are tied to the Jews and their traditional worship, primarily in the temple. This includes Paul who periodically made pilgrimages there for worship. There is no record of this type of worship in any of the churches we see established among Jew or Gentile.