For Worship: Lessons from a 5 Year Old


I got a chance to go with my wife and oldest son to Bourbonnais, IL last weekend on a family mission trip with our church. As we were getting ready for the trip Meredith and I were trying to explain to Nathan (our 5 year old) what we would be doing and explain why we were doing it. “We’re going on a mission trip,” we said, “We are going to tell people about Jesus and help other people tell about Jesus.”

Nathan took all of this in, but was probably more excited about hanging out with the other kids and getting a chance to ride the church bus (an experience he is not as excited about after two long trips on it). On Saturday morning we went out to hang door hangers about Journey Church. Journey church is a church plant that our church has partnered with. A team went last year to help with their launch and now we were back a year later to help celebrate their 1 year anniversary.

We were walking through neighborhoods, the story of how one man had come to church, accepted Christ, and was now a big part of their community all because of a door hanger that the team placed last year was dancing through my head. I had visions of dozens of people responding to the work that my family was doing.

At about the 30th house Nathan was slowing down so I wanted to remind him of why we were doing what we were doing. So I asked him, “Nathan what are we doing all of this for?” (OK, it is bad grammar I know, but that is what I asked). I was expecting something along the lines of what was in my head, “to invite people to church,” “so that people will come to hear about Jesus,” or something similar. Nathan’s answer was much simpler and much more….I don’t know…true in some way.

“For worship,” he said.

That was it for him. Why were we out walking through neighborhoods hanging signs on people’s doors? For him it was simple. We were doing it for worship.

I have so many reasons why I do things around a church. I do things because if I don’t no one else will. I do things because I think I am supposed to. I do things for noble reasons too. I do things so that other people can know Christ and so that the love of Christ can be carried around the world.

But at the heart of what I should be doing is what Nathan was doing. It should be for worship.

When you are working with your church I am sure there are lots of reasons why you do what you do. But when it all comes down to it the motivating factor of our service should be to praise and honor God. Why do we do what we do? We do it for worship.

So this week as you are changing a baby’s diaper because no one showed up to work in the nursery, remember that you are doing it for worship. As you are trying to get that 7th grader to calm down and listen to the truth that you are trying to teach, remember you are doing it for worship. When you are cleaning up after people and no one else seems to notice, remember you are doing it for worship. When you are setting up chairs and getting game stuff together you are doing it for worship. When you are leading in the service, when you are singing in the congregation, when you are walking through the halls your church remember that whatever you there you are doing it for worship.

When you walk through your day, and go to your job and live out your life away from church remember you are doing it all for worship.

Why do I do what I do? This week at least I know my answer will be “for worship.” I hope I can remember the lesson that Nathan taught me for much longer than that.


One thought on “For Worship: Lessons from a 5 Year Old

  • October 2, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Our lives should be directed by those words, why do what we do: “For worship.” I find in modern Christianity, we get so caught up in “worship” as what we do on Sunday mornings. However, “worship” in the true essence of the word needs to be “how we live” not a once a week occurrence.


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