The Heart of Worship #WorshipWednesday


During this time of quarantine, I’ve been thinking a lot about worship. Probably partially because I am a worship leader, but also simply as a follower of Jesus- I’m pondering what it means to truly worship.

I heard a story behind the popular song “The Heart of Worship” once that has always stuck with me. The song was written by Matt Redman, who was leading worship at a church in England in the late 90s. The Pastor Mike Pilavachi, noticed that their corporate worship had become apathetic. Drowned out by the sound system, reliant upon the voices that were amplified, distant from any true connection with the Holy Spirit. Their “worship” had become about consuming rather than about offering.

So they did something drastic…they pulled the plug on the sound system. They told the band not to come. And they simply sang…just the voices. And at first it was like you might imagine it would be- it was awkward! But what they noticed over the next few weeks was that the depth of the words began to resonate in their souls as their voices grew louder together. It didn’t take long for a spirit of genuine worship to flow through their church as they re-learned together that the heart of worship is not just music, but it’s Jesus himself.

I can’t help but wonder if God may be teaching the global church a similar lesson during this time of isolation. Instead of worshiping with other believers in church buildings, we are watching services from our couches (often times in our pajamas!) I know that I for one genuinely miss worshipping with the UABC Ohana. I miss leading with the worship team, I miss hearing so many beautiful voices of different ages and races being lifted up together. But in our desire for things to return to “normal” I hope we won’t miss what God may be speaking to us during this strange season. So in these weeks of worshiping alone at home- let’s lean in and listen to what He might be teaching us.

For me- He’s leading me to ponder these things about worship:

  1. It’s not about the place (We can’t physically meet in our sanctuary, but The Spirit is ever present in our homes)
  2. It’s not about the music (I feel so much more comfortable when I’m playing with the talented worship team! But even apart from instruments and voices, Jesus cares more about our hearts when we come before Him).
  3. Am I truly worshiping Him in spirit and in truth?

This Sunday, Pastor Chris will be leading us through the passage in John 4 where Jesus encounters the woman at the well and their conversation shifts to the topic of worship. Jesus tells the woman “Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.” (v.21-24).

To worship God “in spirit and in truth” encompasses every aspect of who we are. The truth that we know about God through Scripture stirs up passion and emotions- which often overflow through song.

I’ll close with a simple recording of the song “The Heart of Worship.” There’s certainly nothing special about my home-recording of this worship song- but I pray that it’ll help to prepare our hearts to virtually worship with one another on Sunday.

May we all learn to worship in spirit and in truth.


This blog post was written by our Worship & Internationals Minister, Meredith Palicte