I have started to hear this term being thrown around a little these days. But this term is not a new one. What “hyped-up worship” means simply is that a church must make their worship so exciting that everyone that comes leaves worked up “for Jesus.” This type of worship is not limited to praise bands and the like, but also to what is called a “spirit filled” sermon that “rocks” the crowd. According to dictionary.com, “hyped-up” means, “intensively or excessively stimulated or exaggerated.” These worship services become a place where the person gets intensively stimulated or overly excited. What is wrong with that?

The problem with this type of mind set is that they change the focus of worship from all about God, to some about God but mostly about them. You see the worship is not “good enough” unless I get all worked up about it. Does this make biblical sense? Is this what God had planned for us in our worship? Now don’t get me wrong, if I leave the worship service excited about service to God then I am blessed. But my worship is not about me. This “hyped-up worship” is a me-centered worship rather than a Christ-centered worship.

If I don’t have the best singing in worship, then it was not good enough. If I didn’t have the sermon that made me just jump out of my seat and run out the door screaming about Jesus, then it was not good enough. Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (emp. jer John 4:24). Does the modern day “hyped-up worship” fit with this pattern? Some will try to pull the word “spirit” out of its context and define it as such. Ok, let’s define the word in this passage and see.

Wayne Jackson writes, “True worship must be in spirit. Genuine worship involves the plunging of one’s spirit into the act (cf. Romans 1:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15) in a humble and sincere way (cf. Joshua 24:14). This disposition eschews the superficial, the ostentatious (cf. Matthew 6:1ff), the self-centered (Luke 18:9ff), and the hypocritical (Matthew 5:23-24; 15:7-9)” (christiancourier.com/articles/282-jesus-and-the-samaritan-woman). The “hype-up worship” does not fit into the pattern of worshiping God. This type of worship is all about self. Even though many claim that they are all about God.

I have studied with people that have said, “I just don’t like the way they do worship.” Do you see the pronoun? They want a worship that pleases themselves rather than God. It has to be all about God with the removal of self. Do we really believe the song that is sometimes sung, “None Of Self, And All Of Thee?” Worship God, not self. Continue to minister with your message…

-Jason Ridgeway lives in Waverly, OH and  preaches  for the Canal Church of Christ