Not only should worship be passionate, but it should be explored, discussed and felt deeply and with much conviction. This is extremely evident in AW Tozer’s book, Whatever Happened to Worship. Through a series of printed sermons, Tozer lays forth an aggressive consideration of the current state of congregational and personal worship and offers the church a beautiful way forward in our worship of God.
Tozer very much believes that there is a correlation between worship and Christian service. While some people would say that if the church will worship more, “no one will do anything” (19). In fact the opposite may be true. Tozer believes that everyone will do more and do it with a deeper understanding of the meaning behind Christian deeds. This is an important observation for Christian leaders, whose responsibility it is to equip the saints for good works. Accordingly, the pastor who helps his congregation to give them selves to worship will see his congregation give themselves to the work of the kingdom of God.
I really appreciated Tozer’s comparison of the Roman empire’s demise to the church’s demise in worship. Many times, Christians blame outside influences for the weakness in their local church’s worship. Often there are complaints of not being able to compete with music video channels on television, or with local concerts. I believe it is a sad day when our worship becomes a part of a competition! Tozer points any blame for internal worship decay directly onto the church as it deviates from it’s original purpose. When a church behaves like a social club or a current events forum (96), the worship will not be all that God dreamed of for His church.
This book is a concise discussion of the current state of worship in the western church, we would do well to heed it’s observations, warnings and instructions. As a pastor Tozer had a strong desire to help his church experience true worship and this comes across clearly in this book. He encourages Christians to give up whatever is holding them back, whether it is from sin or mere inhibition, and to worship our Creator with spirit and truth.