The Greek word most commonly translated worship finds its roots in the idea of “kissing
the ground before” or bowing low in front of the object of your affection and adoration. Worship then is to offer by word, or action, a message of respect and submission. If there is no message of submission and respect there is no worship. This is evident in the first recorded attempt at worship in Genesis 4:3-4. When Cain brought forth some of his fruit and Abel brought for the best of his flocks, God accepted what was best and rejected the some. Not all that claims to be worship is acceptable to God.
Here are some worthy goals to achieve in our worship of God:
Four Goals of Worship
Proclamation: 1 Cor 11:26. As we participate in Communion (The Lord’s Supper) each first day of the week we “proclaim” that we believe Jesus died and was raised and will come again. Worship is a proclamation to God, to each other, as well as to the world around us of our faith in Christ.
Adoration: Heb 13:15. When we offer God the fruit of our lips we are praising God and expressing to Him our admiration for His grace. As we sing, pray, observe communion, and even when we listen to God’s word we communicate praise and adoration.
Communication: Eph 5:19. Sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord. Our songs are communicating to the Lord. Our songs express our requests, our regret for sin, and pledges of commitment. Likewise our prayers speak to God and hearing Scripture proclaimed is listening to God’s Word to us.
Edification: 1 Cor 14:26. Paul says that everything we do as we assemble should edify the congregation. God planned for our worship as we offer messages of submission to him we are simultaneously encouraging one another. When I worship, as I pray, sing, and partake in communion I build up my siblings in Christ.
P.S. I want to take a moment to note that not one of these passages or goals is about pleasing ourselves or our own tastes in worship. Each goal is focused on God and others.