Bino recently posted a blog on worship questioning whether it's a personal experience or a corporate experience. I think that's a good question and in this blog post I will try to share from my perspective.
I believe worship is a personal thing between Father and his child. I don't relate to all of my children or my grandchildren in the same way because they're all unique individuals. I have a relationship with each one that is unique. In the same way, worship will also be unique for each person. Everyone comes to God with their differing personalities and will relate to him in a way that is unique to their personalities and experiences.
For example, I'm really not into music very much although, at times, I do enjoy the singing part of the meeting. However, as a normal rule, that's not how I worship. Even at home, I don't tend to listen to music. The funny thing is most people think I'm free in the spirit because I dance. The group I spend time with on Sunday mornings call themselves Presbyterians so they’re a quiet group. I'm the ONLY one who dances and I mostly do it because it keeps me focused since I can easily get distracted. For me, it’s not necessarily a form of worship.
When I was in the group that I shared about in my previous post, the pastor was big on singing and dancing as a form of worship. We were made to sing and dance to exhaustion and we were reprimanded if we didn't "worship" to his expectations. As a result, I was programmed to believe that worship was extravagant singing and dancing. Since Father has released me out into the wild, I'm learning how to worship in a way that's natural for me.
For some people, group singing is worship but for others, it's not. I believe we express the life of Christ through the uniqueness of who we are and it will be in a way that is natural for each individual. Also, it will vary at different times. For example, today, I may worship with a particular song. Tomorrow, it may be as I experience the beauty of nature. The next day, it may be as I experience Father’s love flowing to me through my husband.
Corporate worship will also be different for each person. I experience corporate worship when I get together with others and we talk about Jesus. After a conversation like that, I leave lifted up because I've experienced Father's life through interacting with other believers. Sitting in a room with a bunch of people and singing may at times be an enjoyable experience but, in my opinion, it's not necessarily worship.
I believe the institution has done the church a disservice by making worship a one size fits all experience. Each day brings opportunities to worship that are fresh and new. I believe Father is wanting us to learn how to worship in the reality of who we are rather than in the staleness of religious obligation.