Teaching worship is always a tricky thing.  I remember a very young Christian who had been given a pretty powerful position in a large church, scolding the members during a teaching session.  “You people have no idea what worship is.  You wouldn’t recognize worship if it slapped you in the face.”

Though I’d been a Christian for about 15 years at the time, I’d become a Christian at eight years old and I was still a young adult.  I knew there was much to learn about worship.  I was only scratching the surface regarding this important subject.  I listened carefully for his explanation of worship but to my disappointment it wasn’t forthcoming.  He continued his vicious scolding but he didn’t tell us what he thought  worship actually was.

My conclusion was that he didn’t know what worship was either. 

In the Old Testament, words that we translate from the Hebrew as worship often mean service to the Lord, within a corporate setting or with individual sacrifice.  This leads us to understand that worship is a corporate and an individual act.  The New Testament understanding of worship was broadened to include sacrificial giving of ourselves or our material possessions.  But the meaning doesn’t stop there.

Yesterday, there was a lively discussion regarding worship at this blog.  Don Boden reminded us that one Greek word, proskyneo, and the Hebrew equivalent, shachac, are translated as worship.  They refer to a posture of submission and thus an acknowledgement of God’s complete soverignty.  Other Greek and Hebrew words that are associated with worship mean to bend the knee, bow down and to kiss forward.  See “What is Worship in the Bible?”  for a more complete study.  This article is a synopsis written by Lee Campbell, PhD, taken from the article on worship by G. W. Bromiley in the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 5

In regard to people who are developmentally disabled, it appears that leaders within the disability community have formulated or they are seriously formulating what is appropriate worship for our members.  As Tony Piantine asked, would we go to any other culture or sub-culture and not endeavor to meet their spiritual needs on a level that they can understand?