True Worship in a #Selfie World

Wow. God really met with us in worship tonight. The room was just so full of his presence. One of the most intense times of worship I have ever experienced.

This caption came across my Instagram notifications a few weeks back.

I was curious to see the photo this student had taken to commemorate his experience. I never would have expected a picture of a young man standing in front of a mirror in his bathroom with a bewildered smirk on his face.

Yet there he was, a duck-faced teenager staring at his bathroom mirror, smart phone in hand. What this had to do with how much he loved worshiping Jesus was a mystery to me.

This is our world.

This is the world in which we live, the world of the selfie.

The world where people take something that is not about them and make it about them through the lens of their camera.

Grown men pose with their best “Blue Steel” smolder while the tip of Paris’s breath-taking Eiffel Tower protrudes from the side of their heads like a tiny, awkwardly placed steel horn.

Teenage girls attempt their cutest look while a singular stone column of Rome’s ancient, awe-inspiring Colosseum is barely visible in the background.

We are not seeing the world through their eyes so much as seeing their eyes blocking the world.

Maybe I am alone here, but I would much rather see a picture of Niagara Falls than a face obstructing my view of it.

Niagara Falls is not about us.

It is majestic. It demands the full frame for viewers to feel even just a little taste of the awe of something grander than themselves.

Selfie-type worship.

This is exactly what we are doing when we attempt to make corporate worship about us.

Our sinful hearts want to fill up the frame of God’s glory with our faces. Our flesh wants to distract us from the infinite worth of a holy God who has invited us into his presence to behold him and be made like him.

This selfie type of worship constantly tries to infiltrate our churches, causing us to value sentiment over substance, emotional hype over emotional health, or musical preference over meaningful proclamation.

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Stephen Miller
Stephen Miller serves as pastor of worship arts at The Journey in St Louis and just released his new book Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars, and worship album, All Hail the King. He writes regularly at www.stephen-miller.com, and you can find him on Twitter @StephenMiller and on Facebook at Facebook.com/StephenMillerMusic.