I Believe in Consumer Driven Worship

Richard Phillips

I believe that our churches should be devoted to consumer-driven worship.  That is, we should identify the target audience of our worship service: our consumer.  We should then conduct studies to determine what our target audience likes in worship.  What will make our consumer come back?  What will excite the target audience in worship.  Then we should provide worship that meets these preferences and values.  This is what I mean in saying that I believe in consumer driven worship.

But the question is: Who is the target audience of our worship?

I believe that the target audience of our worship is God.  Our worship is directed to God himself – for his pleasure and his glory.  What we should do in worship is what God wants us to do, what God likes, what will bring God back week after week. 

But isn’t evangelism the primary purpose of worship?  Or, if not evangelism, isn’t edification the primary purpose of worship?  The answer is No.  The purpose of worship is doxology.  We come to church to glorify God and enjoy pleasing him.  The reason for this is that worship is not an intransitive verb.  An intransitive verb is one that does not have a direct object.  Smile is an intransitive verb.  You just smile.  There is no object.  But worship is not like smiling.  You do not just worship.  Worship is a transitive verb.  You always worship someone and some thing.  And Christians worship the triune God of the Bible: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

One great thing about God-centered worship is that when you get the product right, you also get the bi-products.  Evangelism and edification are not the products of worship but rather bi-products.  And when you make the glory of God the product of worship, you end up with an evangelistic and an uplifting worship experience.  The reason for this is that the worship that pleases God is biblical worship, and it is by the Bible that we are born again and sanctified. 

This, then, is my plea: consumer-driven worship, as long as we realize that the consumer of our worship is none other than God himself.

Richard Phillips