Worship and Enjoy Him Together
After someone is invested in and invited to begin a relationship with Christ, the next natural step is to experience and worship the Living God.
There are many ways of understanding our response of worship. But perhaps the simplest way of describing worship is this: it’s the “total adoring response of men to the one, self-revealed Eternal God.”
This is a great understanding of worship because it reminds us that, yes, worship IS personal and passionate. And yes, it does include music. But it is also total – so it includes the adoring response of all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And this goes far beyond music!
This understanding of worship also reminds us of the high importance of the Word of God. It is through His Word that God consistently self-reveals the vast depths of who He is and the love He has for His children.
One last thing that is great about this definition of worship is that it includes the word “men” – as in “men and women”, PLURAL. This is important because while worship CAN be an intimate response of the created to its Creator, there is something special, and something dear to the heart of God when we come together as a larger body of people to worship and experience the Living Christ.
Now we know that this is not necessarily a cultural value. We live in a world where individual experience is elevated as being of prime importance. But we do know this is a value to God, because nothing can replace the simple blessing Christ promised the gathered church: “where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” So something special happens when God’s people gather together to corporately experience the goodness of God.
But why? Why are we placing so much importance on experiencing Jesus in a worshiping community?
Well there are practically limitless books of shelves that go into this, but here are just 3 reasons why we believe the corporate worship gathering is crucial to the life of the disciple of Christ….
Here’s the first reason: all of us are desperately in need of transformation. We need and want a transforming experience from the Lord, the kind of spiritual visitation that will help to heal our broken homes and divided relationships; that will strip away our religious and emotional veneers and get us back to reality; that will restore true spiritual values and replace the cheap counterfeits and lies the world and our isolated selves have been selling us. When we come together, united with that kind of humble and seeking heart, 1 Corinthians 14 tells us that God will be glorified to the point that the world – even unbelievers – will sit up and take notice and confess that “God is truly among you.”
A second reason we believe the gathered worship experience is so important is that it provides the church with a consistent chance to align itself with the will and heart of God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 gives a perfect example of the importance God places on this when God Himself said, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” This was the promise of blessing God had for a collective group of people who, if regularly aligned with Him, would experience the corporate and personal rewards of a listening, forgiving, and healing God. That sounds like reason enough to come together, right?!
And though there are a million more reasons, here is one last final reason why coming together is so important. When we join together to worship we are rehearsing and engaging in an eternal narrative that is SO much bigger than us as individuals. Yes, we can worship and experience the Living God alone in our rooms. But when we join together with as a church and sing together “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,” we are rehearsing the corporate script for which we were made to sing. We are joining in with the eternal song of all of God’s creation – those who have gone before us, and those who will come after. This is a corporate – and this is meant in the fullest, widest sense of the word – experience that can never be fully understood in isolation. For all these reasons and more we are convinced that the eternal melody of God’s people is best experienced in person!
So as we continue down this Pathway of discipleship the words of A.W. Tozer are a great reminder:
“God is trying to call us back to that for which He created us: to worship Him and enjoy Him forever.” Once a week, sometimes even more, we decide as an entire church body do just that – worship Him and enjoy Him together. We believe it is critical to life of a Christ-follower, and we want you to join us. Come experience the Living Christ in community today.