Once a month (or every five weeks) I have the opportunity to to submit a “Pastor’s Corner” column for the Twin Falls, Times News. For the next several months I will be writing on the topic of Worship. Visit the actual column here. Sharing it on various social outlets helps the editors at the Times News know that it is read. Thanks.
The column is published weekly on Saturdays. My column piece runs every 4th or 5th week. Her is yesterday’s…
Perhaps no greater change has happened in the American church in the past 100 years than the weekly worship gathering of the Lord’s people. It has even been reduced to being referred to simply as ’church.’ On any given Saturday or Sunday all you have to do is drive around the Magic Valley and one could say that some people are at ‘church.’ The puritans were especially careful on what they called these weekly gatherings, but they never called it ‘church.’ They were also careful about what they labeled ‘worship.’
Most attenders today would not hesitate to go to church or participate in an act of worship. But what is really going on inside that meeting house? Has the church gathered or is it a community of people who all think and act alike? Is worship of Almighty God happening or is worship of self and humanity or music style happening?
These are not easy questions to answer, because we would most likely defend the elements of that gathering as pleasing to the Lord. The tragedy is that few are willing to let the Holy Bible be a sufficient source to govern how and/or what the church ought to do when we gather for a weekly meeting.
There is not room in this short column to flesh this entire subject out in a satisfying way, so I’ll attempt to take the next several months and devote my column to this matter of worship.
Let me start here; could one say that every meeting of the church is a worship service or are what we call worship services really only meetings?
If everyone who gathers in a church building or home this weekend were to submit themselves to the Lord and look to his sufficient word, the Holy Bible, then one might find that little if any worship of God is actually happening. Surely there are places of worship that do worship God, but if they are it is not because they have read a recent book on what people want in a worship service. It would be because they are being careful to examine the Holy Bible for direction.
Be careful what you label worship this weekend. You just may, by definition alone, find that you are worshiping yourself, your leisure, you lusts, your sins, or any other substitute you have for God. J.B. Phillips wrote a profound short book on the matter of worship entitled “Your God Is Too Small.” In it, he argued that the very way we approach a worship service shows that we think little of God and much about ourselves.
Evaluate the worship service you attend this weekend from the standard of the Holy Bible. At the end of the day, have you been to a meeting or a worship service? Don’t judge that gathering on how seamless the structure was, how pious the readings were, how loud the music was, how old the songs were, or how good you felt when you left because of what was said. Open up your Bible this weekend and seek out how God instructs us to worship Him.