I just realized that in almost 70 posts so far, we haven’t talked about worship, which is a pretty big oversight on my part. Why? Because I think worship is the most important hour of the week for the small church. Here’s why:
- The entire church is together. Worship is the only time the entire church gathers together during the week. We also have a Wednesday night meal and Bible study, but only about 30% of our folks attend that. Even if you have two Sunday services, each service is a gathering of the church that doesn’t gather any other time.
- The entire church is together before God. When we come to worship, we come before God. We may not feel like it, we may not act like it, but it’s true. Like Israel assembled before Sinai, we stand before God as His people. No other hour is devoted to the corporate encounter with God.
- The entire church is together before God to praise, confess, thank, ask, and obey God. We sing, we pray, we give thankfully, we share communion and the reading of the Word, we hear the spoken message, we ask God’s forgiveness as His people. The worship liturgy, however complex or simple, is literally the “work of the people” before their God. We do our work before God, so that God can do His work in and through us.
- The entire church is together before God to praise, confess, thank, ask, and obey God so that we might be part of the mission of God. A Baptist church in our town has signs at it’s parking lot exits that read, “You are now entering the mission field.” Worship is not to make us feel better, or to inspire us. Worship brings us into the presence of God so that we might see again that we are undone, as Isaiah said. That God is God, and we are but his people created in His image to do His will.
So, whatever your worship style, musical tastes, or personal preference, worship is the best hour your church has every week. Nothing else is like worship, and nothing can replace it. I am devoting more energy, prayer, and thought to making worship the finest hour of our week.