I believe that God asks those who are Christians to meet together regularly to worship…. pray, sing, teach and learn…. eat, share, laugh and cry…. extend and receive grace…. mourn and celebrate. There are examples of this happening throughout the Bible, before, during, and after the time Jesus was actually here.
There’s a huge difference in what a ‘church’ looked like in those days and what ‘churches’ look like now. Regardless of the size or culture or tradition or denomination of a church, there’s some kind of plan in place when a group of people gather together weekly as a ‘church’. In my church, I’m the one assembling that plan out of a variety of ingredients each week.
My question today has to do with the ‘ingredients’. It doesn’t seem like it should be difficult to decide what goes into a weekly ‘worship service’. It’s a gathering of people with the purpose of worshiping God…. giving God our attention… praying and singing to and about God… learning about how life is best lived in light of who God is. But because it’s often the only gathering of a church family on a regular basis, and because it is a church family with family-type things to take care of, there are often other things included in this gathering. Part of the mission of the church is to connect people with each other. But how do we decide the best way to do that when everyone’s together?
We don’t live in a schedule-free culture; there is an expected time limit to our gatherings. So, what gets the coveted ‘up front time’ and what doesn’t? somebody had a baby, somebody is celebrating a milestone anniversary, somebody is having a birthday, somebody is graduating, somebody is going overseas for the summer, somebody just returned from serving at a ministry in Mexico for 2 weeks, somebody is inviting people to serve in a soup kitchen, somebody needs volunteers for an event, somebody has had a great experience volunteering, somebody has a prayer request, somebody has a complaint, somebody has a great story about God working in their life.
So you tell me….in the church you attend… which of these things do you think you should hear about during a worship service? Which do you think should be communicated in another way? And which do you not care to hear about at all? (let me emphasize that I understand that these are not the only ingredients to a worship service. I’ve chosen to focus in this post on the ‘church life’ stuff) Speak it.