Gordon MacDonald identified six "leading instincts of the soul" which lead people to prefer worshiping God along six different lines.
Then Gary Chapman gave us the profoundly helpful, and now ubiquitous, "Five Love Languages."
Since "love languages" is a familiar form of expression, I've taken the liberty of turning McDonald's findings into "worship languages."
Take a look. You will likely be most inclined toward two or three of these "worship languages." For example, I identify most with the contemplative, followed closely by the student.
- The Aesthetic Language.
The aesthetic seeks to be overwhelmed by the majesty of God. This person is happiest when the worship environment includes beauty, order, tradition, and artistic integrity--whether that's in church or out in nature.
- The Experiential Language.
The experientialist wants to "feel" the presence of God and respond with a full range of emotions, including clapping, singing, prayer, weeping, laughing, and more.
- The Activist Language.
The activist sees everything through the lens of service. The world needs to be changed, and this person feels closest to God when making a contribution to the work of the kingdom--whether that's setting up chairs at church or pounding nails into shingles on a widow's roof.
- The Contemplative Language.
The contemplative cherishes the inner life, opening up to God in the quiet of his own soul, and sensing God's presence. This person is impressed by the mystery of God.
- The Student Language.
The student loves truth. The study of the Bible forms the core of this person's worship style. Happiness is found in a church which emphasizes the preaching and teaching of the Word.
- The Relational Language.
The relational person finds God most present when people are bonded together in fellowship, worship, or mutual support. This person is torn when there is conflict, lifted high when the walls come down.
Until every church disciples every man…
Patrick Morley, PhD Executive Chairman, Man in the Mirror