Over on the Sydney Anglicans website there is (it seems to me) a very healthy debate on the use of the word ‘worship’ with respect to Christian meetings. This discussion is in response to a (very helpful) article on the subject by David Peterson.
I have no intention of entering into the debate but just to make an observation. The ‘classic’ viewpoint was that worship was what we did in church. The ‘Sydney’ corrective (for want of a better word) was to highlight verses like Romans 12:1 etc which show that worship is concerned with all of life.
At the risk of a massive oversimplification, the problem, as I see it, is the application of this insight. Instead of approaching all of life like we used to approach church (reverently, conscious of God etc), we now approach church like we used to approach the rest of life (casually, without much thought for God etc.) To use a fairly blunt analogy, it is like being told that all sins are the same and then committing murder because it’s just the same as getting angry i.e. no big deal - rather than hating anger as much as murder because they come from the same root.
Those of us who want to stress that all of life is worship need to approach the rest of life the way others used to approach church meeting. In other words, we need to show that this viewpoint does not diminish our reverence for God but heightens it - both in the corporate meeting and out of it.