My life changed drastically when I realized what worship is.

Worship is the way I choose to live my life. Worship is a way of life.

It’s much too long of a story to share how I got to this place, but once I learned that worship was more than church attendance, prayer, Bible study, or even singing – I became free. I learned more about expressions of worship, and it became the way I live my life.

Does a simple act of kindness, like inviting a family over for dinner, count as worship?

What about being there for a hurting friend, by showing compassion?

Taking a meal to a needy family – is that an expression of worship?

Here is the basic definition of worship: When we ascribe worth to Him. That is simple to understand. 

A few months ago, my daughter played her violin during the offering at church. She was well-prepared after working on this Vivaldi piece for months, but she was nervous. And I was nervous for her! So driving to church I reminded her of this, “Abby, God has given you a beautiful talent, so play for Him!  It also blesses others when you use your gifts, sometimes more than we’ll ever know!  And don’t worry about perfection!  So what if you mess up?  Just keep going!”

When I serve others, through love and grace and a willing heart, I know I am attempting to live a life of worship. When I get caught up in what I think is worship (do this, do that because I have to), then I lose my joy.

I drove the point home with my daughter (the same lesson I’ve shared with her over and over), but I also thought about it in context of my home and the gifts God has given to me. 

Do things have to be spectacular before I’ll invite people in?

What if the meat I serve is a slightly over-done?

What if I have to close my bedroom door because my room is in shambles?

It's easy to get caught up in these concerns. But the truth is, in the spiritual realm and even when I don’t feel like it, what I do out of love reflects greatly a life of worship. 

And it doesn’t require perfection.


Sandy Coughlin is a wife and mother of 3. She loves her family and loves blessing other people's lives by entertaining in her home. Sandy’s husband, Paul, (who used to be the reluctant entertainer) has come on board, and they often offer hospitality together. Sandy and Paul co-authored a book called Married but Not Engaged(Bethany House, Aug. 2006). It's written to women who are married to "checked out" or emotionally absent men and who want to create a more satisfying, intimate relationship. This article was adapted from Sandy’s regularly updated blog “4 Reluctant Entertainers,” which you can visit at www.reluctantentertainer.com. Get more information on Married but Not Engaged by clicking here. Visit Paul's website at: http://www.paulcoughlin.net/