Friday, December 18, 2009

Has worship become a habit?

Sunday School at 9:30; Service at 10:45. Song service from 10:50 to 11:20; Message starts at 11:21.  Congregation is in their "assigned" seats every Sunday.  A three point message followed by an invitation.  Does this sound like your Sunday morning church experience?

Are we following a formula, week after week, for worship?  If the service is not in a specific order, have we not experienced worship?  If we don't sit in the same place, week after week, have we not had fellowship with God?

Familiarity does help one to feel comfortable.  Think about your favorite place to read a book.  What about enjoying food at your favorite restaurant?  Church should be a comfortable and familiar place.  In addition, it should serve a defense against the everyday battles we experience.  Old West travelers often found safety in the forts spread through the West.

How does one experience and/or find safety if everything is always the same?  As Christianity is a very personal experience so is worship.  Does sitting with the same group, week to week, in the same building mean you are worshipping?  What about Christian growth?  What about safety from the everyday battles?

After a worship service, do you feel re-equipped to fight the everyday battles?  Is your spiritual strength renewed?  What about your emotional strength?  Can you handle the day to day blows that life inflicts?

A worship service/experience should renew your spirit, re-equip you, re-build your emotional strength.  How this occurs is unique to each person.  Some will be renewed via the music; the music speaks deeply to their soul.  The music provides a balm to the hearer.  Others strengthen their belief by listening to the message.  The message addresses a need in their life.  The quietness of the auditorium before the service provides solace to others.  It allows them a quiet moment in their fast paced life to experience God.

The bottom line is Christian worship is not and should not be standardized.  Worship should provide for each person: a place to be ministered to, spiritually fed, emotionally renewed, re-equipped to fight the daily battles.

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