What Do Our Worship Services Reveal?

I have the privilege of facilitating a network of church planters for the Frontier Baptist Association. We meet for eight sessions a year, five in the spring and three in fall, in order to make room for the big summer push on outreach efforts in the community for a church planter. This month's topic is a great one for a pre-launch church planter to wrestle with, but it is also a topic that many of us still need to consider. What will be this church's philosophy of worship?

Dave Hall, a regular contributor to The Exchange with Ed Stetzer writes this: Evangelical Christians have a very truncated understanding of worship. When asked to define it, they respond, "It's singing," or "It's praising God." Worship, from a biblical perspective, is far more than merely singing or praising God in the assembly of the saints (as right and wonderful as that is). 

While many have tried to get their arms around this larger idea, I believe Bruce Leafblad of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary gives a definition that encapsulates the intent of this concise word: Worship is both an event and a lifestyle in which believers, by grace, center their mind's attention and their heart's affection on the Lord, humbly glorifying God in response to His greatness, His mighty acts, and His word.

When we open up our eyes to this definition, we understand that every part of our lives, our family, and yes, our gatherings are a form of worship. Worship is our first responsibility to God. We worship God by enjoying him. Worship is about falling in a love relationship with Jesus. Therefore, if worship were just music, then all who are nonmusical could never worship. Worship is far more than music. Whether it is a time of prayer, scripture reading, baptism, communion, singing, or even silence, if our goal is to bring honor, glory, and pleasure to God, it is worship. With this in mind, let me ask this question.

What Do Our Worship Services Reveal?

1. Our View of God
Our understanding of God and our how we perceive interaction with Him may be the most important thing we ever figure out. We serve the God of the universe... not the other way around. We don't work on some project, some theatrical production, or a grand musical moment, then ask God if he wants to come help us out with it. Everything we strive to do is meant to bring God the greatest glory possible! How we worship will reveal what we really believe about our view of God. 

2. Our Value for The People of God
We the church are called in Scripture to be the bride of Christ. The bride of Christ is to be an attractive entity that draws others to Him. The old hymn tune states: They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Is this truly representative of us? Do we show love and kindness to all who devote themselves to following hard after God, regardless of age, race, gender, social status or political affiliation? How we worship will reveal what we really believe about our value for the people of God. 

3. Our Vision for Those Far From God
We are commanded to be a light unto the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden! Therefore we would expect that there are some out in the darkness that are drawn to the light and desire to come in. Are we using language, or terminology that is impossible to read and understand? When we are, simply because our lives look different then theirs, are we doing our very best to explain our beliefs and invite others to join us? How we worship will reveal what we really believe about our vision for those far from God.

Let's take a look in the mirror. What do our worship gatherings at Randall Church reveal this weekend about us? How about you personally? If you were starting today from scratch as a missionary to your zip code, what would be your philosophy of worship? What would your worship services reveal about you?


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