Worship involves engaging and encountering God out of a relationship of intimacy, adoration and devotion. But it is more than simply singing songs to Him - it also involves living a life that expresses it, in the same way that if you love someone it doesn't just affect the things you say, but the way you live. In the bible it is very clear that worship is our highest priority. When Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, this is actually a commandment to worship. In the Old Testament the issue for Israel was, were they going to worship God, or were they going to worship idols. And so theologically I think it seems that worship is the highest priority to God. He made us for relationship with himself.

Highly regarded as a songwriter and as a worship leader and teacher, Paul Baloche has been in ministry long enough to know that when you distill worship down to its essence, it’s really quite simple. It’s about simplifying your life to make room for intimacy, for “God therapy.”

Integrity Music: What has been the greatest challenge you've faced since you began pursuing music as a calling and a career?

Paul Baloche: Balancing ministry and music with marriage and family. Ministry and music are very "consuming" endeavors. They require lots of emotional time and energy that has to come from somewhere. It has been a lifelong pursuit to keep things in balance.

In our ongoing series well known artists run through their albums and books. This time one of the fathers of British worship music, NOEL RICHARDS

"My early years as a singer/songwriter focussed on performance songs rather than worship songs. In the early 1970s when I started out, there were no worship leaders and very few contemporary worship songs. (...)"

   
© G. Baltes / T. Schröder