“Worship is the strategy by which we interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves and attend to the presence of God…”
- Eugene Peterson
This gathering, often called “corporate worship,” is one of the many strategies a Christ-follower employs to develop healthy habits that are worship-filled events for the express purpose of getting the focus off ourselves and turning it toward our great God! Through the journey of a worship gathering we expect it to be, in the words of Leonard Sweet, “E.P.I.C.”
Worship is engaging with and experiencing God as we acknowledge His transcendence, His mercy, His power, His love, His might, His holiness, His nearness, His desire to have relationship with us, etc.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
(James 4:8 ESV)
The church does not gather to watch, look and listen but to have a dialogue with our Mighty God. Soren Kierkegaard, the famed philosopher and theologian of the early 19th century characterized worship as an unfolding drama. Kierkegaard’s conviction was that the drama should be lived out with the lead worshipers as the prompters (not performing but guiding, giving the actors their words), each person in the congregation is to serve in the drama as the actors, performing to and for Almighty God, the Audience of One.
“To sum up, my friends: when you meet for worship, each of you contributes…”
(1 Corinthians 14:26 NEB)
Since our gatherings are all about God and to God and for God, there must also be ample opportunities for worshipers to respond — to God’s Word, to God’s love, to God’s pursuit of us, to the Spirit’s correction, by giving them images — physical and metaphorical, to help them “see” God more clearly and, therefore, experience Him more fully (lights, windows, the bread and the cup, the cross, as well as pictures of the Creator’s handiwork—creation, etc.). This is not, of course, the worship of images, but rather the use of images (much like the use of music) to help us in…
“This endless knowing and understanding — all this came through Jesus, the Messiah. No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day.”
(John 1:17-18 MSG)
For centuries, churches have purported that we have/posses an individual faith, and to some extent that is true, but only partially so. Yes, each of us must personally embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior, but coming to that understanding and living out that reality must be done in the context of community. Picture this: each worshiper, having worshiped all week long (for worship is a lifestyle given to God in what we think, what we say, and how we choose to behave), brings his/her collective worship to God as we gather together as a group. It has the hint of a family reunion, each and every week!
“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other…”
(Hebrews 10:24-25 HCSB)
Opportunities to Serve
There are many ways to serve with the Worship and Arts Ministry Team. If you want to help out, or if you have any questions, just let us know!
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