Sunday, September 02, 2007

What is Church About?

Sometimes people tell me that they purposely come late to church services because they just want to hear the sermon. Let's talk about this mindset.

First- it is thoroughly unbiblical. Worship is a priority for believers. It is, of course, an attitude of thankfulness, gratitude, and giving praise to God. But it is demonstrated in acts of worship. Giving, singing, Clapping hands, raising hands, dancing, etc. These are all perfectly worshipful and bilbical expressions. Perhaps we need to examine our own hearts to see if there is an unbiblical understanding of worship. Standing piously, reflectively, etc. Can be worshipful but are not necessarily expereincing the full gamot of worship.

Second- it is selfish. Church is about receiving teaching in the Word of God- this is true. But it is also about giving. Giving out of your expereince and wisdom to others who are gathered and in need; using spiritual gifts; praying for one another; loving the lost and lonely, etc. The Selfish mindset that says "I just want to hear the message" displays that the speaker hasn't understood the idea of community OR his/her obligation to worship. SAD.

In our services we try to balance worship and teaching. Worship is a balance of our experiencing Gods dynamic presence and being taught from the Word of God. Each is given roughly 40 minutes in our services. Submitting our lives to the Spiritual Discipline of Worship is crucial to our development as a believer. It makes us balanced in our faith.


Tina said...

I remember when I first started coming to CLC in 1999. Christianity was new to me. God used you to teach me everything I know now and what I'm still learning.
During Worship:
I saw the passion of your wife Cindy when she sang. She hasn't stopped since. I would watch her sing her heart out. Wow!!!! With her eyes closed, expression of desperation on her face, her hand raised as high as she can hold them, like she was reaching for something. Holding it up as long as she would sing. The sound of her voice echoed
for God. She was GIVING HER ALL TO HIM. Her expressions were overflowing. It's hard to discribe. You have to see for yourself the magnitude of her Giving.
Like I said before everything was new to me, so I wondered;
Why does she sing so passionate?
Are we suppose to do this?
Why is she lifting her hands?
I didn't know WHY because I didn't read and know the Bible. I didn't KNOW God. I just knew ABOUT him. When I was in service during worship, I was embarrassed at first. I was hesitant at first. I was nervous at first. And I can still get weak at the knees when it comes to going to the altar. But Thank God I kept looking for the answers, because now I can freely give my expression of Love and Thankfulness. I learned much by being in worship service. It's not just a great band and singers. It's not just songs we sing.
IT'S ALL ABOUT GOD. And our GIVING TO HIM. In the process, he gives back Graciously.
I want to end with this scripture;
Philippians 3:12
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Pastor Dave and Cindy, I Worship God For Your Service to him.

seed said...

Does the amount of time really matter?

To a mere human it does, but not to God. Being geniune is utlimately the key. Worship should not be measured by how many songs, by how loud, or by the form of expersion. The experience between an indiviual and God is what is needed.

Pastor Dave said...

seed wrote that time doesn't matter but like in most recipes there is a time quotient. How long does it take to stop fretting over your checkbook long enough to become Christ centered? What distractions do we deal with in the parking lot that need to be shaken off before we are able to "enter in" to the presence of God? What physical issues are we busy praying through in order to reach out to God in the praise that is due him?

Too many wade in ankle deep and think that is enough. Eternity will show the dimensions of worship that we have left un-tapped.