Worship is a core value for followers of Jesus. We depend on it for our own spiritual enrichment. It's one of the easiest and most effective methods we have to enjoy His presence. We worship to express our love for Him, and our gratitude for all He has done for us. We worship Him because He is worthy of our adoration. It's an outward expression of our inward relationship.
But there's a different side to worship, one that isn't just about how we relate to our Savior. It can also be a highly effective tool for evangelism.
Think about it this way - when we come together in corporate worship, He meets us there. He told us that when two or three of us come together in His name, He will be there in the midst of us. (Matt. 18:20). Psalm 22:3 tells us that He inhabits, (or is enthroned on) the praises of Israel, His people. So that means that when we, as believers, pour out our hearts to Him in our worship, His presence is literally in the room. That's a spiritual reality that can only be perceived on a spiritual level, and someone who is with us in the room is breathing that atmosphere and encountering God's presence. They can read about His presence, they can be told about it in a sermon, but our worship introduces their spirits to His presence.
Psalm 96 links the singing of praise and evangelism - "Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does." Our songs of praise are declarative, they speak clearly of the attributes of our God.
Later in Psalm 96, we can feel the urgency of our responsibility to proclaim God's worth to the world through our worship - "Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!...He is coming to judge the earth."
The Apostle Paul understood the power of singing praises. When he and Silas had been thrown in prison for preaching the Gospel, "Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!" (Acts 16:25-26). The jailer who had been given responsibility for them immediately believed in Jesus, along with his entire household. The unmistakable power of God had been demonstrated in a way he just couldn't ignore, and it all started with the singing of hymns!
This must have been the sort of thing Paul was talking about when he wrote to the church at Corinth - "My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." (I Cor. 2:4). Our worship can bring demonstrations of the Holy Spirit's power in unmistakable ways.
So if you ever face a moment when you feel intimidated to worship when the world is watching you, remember that your worship has the evangelistic power to change hearts and lives!