Passion is caused by intense excitement from the outside, purpose is caused by convictions from the inside. Purpose is intentional, passion is situational. Passion occurs when we feel good, purpose occurs even when we don’t. Passion focuses on what we do, purpose focuses on why we do it. Passion is fleeting, purpose is continuous. So, maybe our worship needs a little less passion and a lot more purpose: purposeful worship.
Worship based on passion waits for feelings to be stirred externally. So, if those feelings are not stirred because congregants don’t know or particularly like the songs, they can even leave the worship service believing worship couldn’t and didn’t occur.
When passion is foundational to our worship, we are tempted to re-create divine moments, events, or even complete seasons based almost completely on the feelings originally stirred so we can elicit or feel that passion again.
Worship based on purpose, however, responds to a relationship that already exists internally. So, we respond not because of what our songs do to us, but instead, because of what Christ has already done in us.
So, purposeful worship means it occurs from the inside out, not the outside in. Thomas a Kempis said it this way, “A good devout person first arranges inwardly the things to be done outwardly.”
This article on purposeful worship originally appeared here, and is used by permission.