Why We Worship
Every week the pastors of Christ Fellowship plan a weekly gathering for the members of Christ Fellowship. We talk about our passage, we pick songs that will complement the message, and we structure the service as purposeful as possible.
Sometimes it's tempting for us to ask the wrong questions when we plan our services. The wrong questions are: What will draw people? What songs really connect with the congregation? What are other churches singing? Are our songs cheesy or are they catchy enough?
Now some of these questions are relevant because you don't want people losing interest or people to not be able to follow the music or what you are doing in worship. There is part of our planning that has to keep people in mind.
The problem is when pastors forget to keep God in mind when planning worship.
The problem is when we ask all the questions above but we don't ask "Will this be honoring to the Lord?"
I want to challenge us at Christ Fellowship to stop asking the wrong questions we gather together. The wrong questions are questions like:
- "Do I like the topic of the sermon?" "Does the sermon meet my desires and wants?"
- "Are the songs peppy enough? "Do they get me excited or stir up my emotions?"
- "Are my kids entertained?" "Do my kids feel like it's Disney World?'
- "What does the coffee selection look like?" What ministries do they offer?'
- "Can we not get more smoke machines and more cowbell?
- "What about me and my needs?"
These are all the wrong questions. These are questions of the consumer. These are NOT questions of the true worshipper. These are questions of someone who is thinking of themselves. These are NOT questions of people focusing on the Lord.
Instead, why don't we ask "Is God being honored? Does he have my heart's affection? Does he have my mind's attention? Because at the end of the day, this is not about us but about God's glory.
I was reading a book by Jared Wilson this week called "The Prodigal Church" and Wilson centers our hearts on what truly matters when we worship at Christ Fellowship. He writes:
The danger we face when we worship is coming into the experience assuming we are summoning God. Assuming worship is our initiative. Assuming we are somehow the ones in control, that we are bringing the best of ourselves and our holy desire to worship. When the reality is, worship does not begin with the worshiper. It begins with God. It is a response to God's calling upon us.
In addition, because authentic worship begins with God, it must have the real, one true living God as its object. We cannot worship the god of our preference, or the god of our pleasing. We must worship God for who he really is, not for who we'd like him to be. This means that when we come and worship, we're not just worshipping God who is touchy-feely and lovey-dovey and "would have died for us if we'd been the only one" ; we're also worshipping the God who commands storms, hangs planets, explodes galaxies, and sends people to hell. We're worshipping the God who controls the universe. We're worshipping the God who has the power and authority of all eternity. This is not your own personal Jesus. That God is manageable. No, we worship the God who is the Great I AM, the God who was and is and is to come. The God who created the universe out of nothing. The God who gives life and takes it away. The God who sends rain on barren lands and the God who is a consuming fire.
Wow! I needed to hear this truthful reminder that our worship should be God-centered. It should be about our Father who is in heaven and whose name should be displayed as holy over all his people. It should be about his kingdom coming and his will being done.
It's sad that we even have to say it but our worship should be about GOD!
So tomorrow, let's try something out together. Let's take our eyes off of our desires and wants and preferences. Let's set our eyes on Jesus! Because he is the reason why we worship.
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