Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Spring Sale! Get 50% off your PLUS subscription. Use code SPRING

Paul Guffey - Developing A Lifestyle Of Worship

  • Updated Feb 01, 2002
Paul Guffey - Developing A Lifestyle Of Worship
Continuing in our series on student worship, {{Paul Guffey}} focuses this article on Helping Students Develop A Lifestyle Of Worship.

Paul is the creator and producer of Word Music's "==Student Worship Collection==" resource kit and Worship Pastor at Two Rivers Church in Knoxville, TN. His twenty plus years as a conference worship leader spans several denominations, hundreds of events, and thousands of students. His practical insights on student worship will help you build a rock-solid foundation for your student worship ministry.

Nothing bugs me more than someone who says they are a "passionate worshiper" out of one side of their mouth and then from the other side, speak all manner of evil against another person. Does this sound familiar? Do you know someone like this? Students and adults who consider themselves "deep worshipers" must also grasp the truth that "deep worship" should produce godliness in their tongue! Have you ever wondered why this is and why they haven't made the connection between "worship" on Sunday mornings and "living it out" every other day of the week?

In this article I'll focus on developing a lifestyle of worship. This lifestyle is what our Lord is looking for. Not just a musical moment designed to impress the congregation, or a tender moment when the heart flutters and tears run, but rather a lifestyle of worship, rooted in deep convictions of righteousness and holiness that affect every area of our lives. I believe we are living in a time when students have the unique opportunity to pave the way in worship, especially when they understand how to live it and not just sing it.

In This Article:

* Making The Connection
* Students Taking The Challenge
* How To Know You're Living A Life of Worship
* Scriptures And Definition

Making The Connection
Unfortunately, as adults we have to shoulder much of the blame for modeling an unbiblical view of worship for our students. Many of us have grown up in an era when the emphasis of worship was on the vocal quality of the song rather than the lifestyle it produced. Don't get me wrong here; I am the first to enjoy music and the beauty that it brings. When I was growing up, music meant everything to me. My world revolved around it to a certain degree. In many ways, students today are the same way. Their world is built around a mixture of musical emotions and visual stimulation that keep them captivated most of the time.

Our job as leaders is to help them connect the truth of God's Word with the beauty of music and worship. We do this by helping them understand that music is only a tool and not the goal. When we de-emphasize music (and even our vocal quality!) and emphasize a godly lifestyle we help bridge their understanding of what pleases the Lord. They realize that worship is not hinged on music but rather their choice to walk with God and please Him on a daily basis. The scripture, "why do you call me Lord, Lord, and yet do not do what I say" is being lived out.

Students Taking The Challenge
I believe the greater challenge is to help students develop a lifestyle that will help them finish well in life. As the scripture says, "even in your old age you will still bear fruit." This lifestyle comes from helping students develop a daily understanding of biblical worship.

Students everywhere are taking this challenge seriously and it is transforming the way they live while also impacting those around them. It's the high school cheerleader who walks with God and impacts her school, or the class officer who stands for God in the middle of a lonely crowd. They are everywhere and God is raising this generation of students to a new awareness of His presence and power. This power comes from living the life and not just singing the song. This is the lifestyle that says "no" to evil and "yes" to righteousness and holiness. This lifestyle only comes from worshiping our Lord on a daily moment by moment basis. Not just a Sunday morning event, but every breath we take, every word we speak, and every move we make. We give glory to our Lord twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, in private as well as in public.

Students who are impacting their campuses have claimed I Timothy 4:12 as their own. It says, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."

How To Know You're Living A Life of Worship
How can you say you've experienced "true worship" and then just go on and live your life the same old way, with the same old sins? I believe if we enter into true worship with our Heavenly Father then we will experience His life-changing power and grace and walk away from it changed in some way.

Anything less is not true worship. This is not to say that we won't have struggles in life, but just represents a different way of viewing worship. The new generation of student worshipers understand this and won't settle for anything less. Their eyes are not on the form or format of worship, but rather the intimacy they find with their Heavenly Dad. It's this intimacy and transparency factor that produces a "deep" walk with God. Selfishness is replaced with selflessness, pride is replaced with humbleness, and attitudes are replaced with a tender desire to serve others.

Lifestyle worship produces good fruit on the branches of your life. You will know a student has figured it out when their life shows these characteristics:

-they learn to respond to the Holy Spirit's promptings
-they make a stand for godliness and righteousness on a daily basis
-they begin to honor their parents
-their choices of movies and music will honor Christ
-sarcastic jokes and coarse talk aren't funny anymore
-they are more concerned with pleasing God than themselves
-they value truth of scripture over their own opinion
-their friends see a noticeable change in their behavior and attitudes

The list goes on and on. Once their lives have been transformed by the renewing power of Jesus Christ they begin a life-long journey of worship.

Scripture References
* I Timothy 4:12
* Romans 12:1
* Ephesians 1:4
* II Timothy 1:8-9
* Psalm 24:3-6
* Ephesians 5:3-7

And finally, let me end with a great definition of worship from Louie Giglio. Teach it to your students, even put it up on the wall as a constant reminder of what God is looking for in a true worshiper. Be encouraged in your work and continue to challenge your students to model a lifestyle that is pleasing to our Heavenly Father. This is the type of worship that is pleasing to His ear.

"Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God, for who He is and what He has done, expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live."

Remember, prepare students for eternity... teach them to worship!


{{Paul Guffey}} is a nationally recognized Worship Leader and trainer in the area of student worship. His Student Worship Collection resource kit is used all over the world to facilitate students and adults in worship. He welcomes your comments and feedback. His email address is

Paul Guffey, WorshipHim! and Used by permission. Photocopy permission is granted for local church use only. Not for resale.