Many organizations throughout history have made the mistake of drifting away from their initial course. Growth has the potential to shift our plan in directions that can be devastating. Admittedly, as the organization grows there are essential elements that must change. For example, in the life of a church, it is impossible to function with the congregation of 200 the same way you would operate with 50 people. Many of those changes deal with the day to day operation of the group.
However, there are core convictions that help define the group that must stay consistent. Over the past few weeks I have been focusing on the core components by identifying specific practices that we simply can’t neglect. Here are the ones I have identified over the past few weeks:
The 7th practice that we can’t neglect is genuine worship. I have not placed these core convictions in any specific order. My goal has been to continue the conversation of important practices that can drift within the life of the church during times of growth.
There is much confusion within our culture surrounding the issue of genuine worship. Too often we think of worship as that time prior to the sermon when we stand for an extended period of signing. There was a day when worship included a choir standing to perform a special song of encouragement to the congregation. For some in our culture worship must include a band with upbeat music, stage lights and special sound effects. My goal as a pastor however is to model and direct our church to genuine worship.
When I consider a Biblical starting point for defining worship I think Psalm 100:4-5 is a good starting point.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
When we worship Jesus we offer Him a simple but real in three specific areas. We respond to His truth, His presence, and His love.
Genuine worship is worshiping Jesus in His truth: The truth about Jesus is located and cemented in the Word of God. These truths about Jesus never change. His Word is a reminder about who He says we are to Him and how He feels about us. We will never properly worship Jesus without laboring through the revealed truth of Jesus.
Genuine worship is worshiping Jesus in His presence: In His presence all worry, anxiety, unbelief, hopelessness, loneliness and bitterness are replaced by a peace that surpasses all understanding and an absolute awareness that you are in the midst of the God of the universe. As we gather corporately to worship Jesus it is important to remember His presence.
Genuine worship is worshiping Jesus in His love: Zephaniah 3:17 is a reminder of God’s great love: The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Knowing the love that Jesus has for those that belong to Him provides security to those who do not neglect genuine worship.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.