I remember the pastor who said he hoped he was dead before the next new hymnal was introduced . . . all the complaining and arguing convinced him that he never wanted to do it again.
I remember the woman who said she’d leave our church if I didn’t add more Christmas songs to the services during the month of December.
I’ve seen churches split over a dispute about whether or not services should stay the way they’ve been for years (traditional) or change to a newer model (contemporary).
How you and I worship in community has always been a source of disagreement…
Hymnal or no hymnal.
Organ or drums and guitars.
Choir or praise team.
English, Latin, or German.
Formal liturgy or flexible format.
Hands raised or hands folded.
Stand, sit, kneel, etc.
If you remember and have survived one or more of these battles you’re most likely nodding and cringing a little, because although we might be able to laugh about it later in the moment, it’s ugly and hurtful.
So today, as I take a look at how to worship God together, I’ll be honest with you . . . I have way more questions than answers.
And the first question is…
When is the last time we as a church body asked God how He wants us to worship Him?
I wonder, have we made worship about us . . . about our preferences. Have we turned our time together into performances for people more than praises for the King of Glory?
I don’t know. It’s just something I’m throwing out there. Something to think about.
When I read through parts of the Old Testament, God was very detailed in His instructions about worship and sacrifice. But we know less about the worship practices of the early church and very few specifics for the church today.
So, let’s do some digging and see if we can learn more…
What Do You Need to Worship God in Community
Praise the Lord for the glory of His name; worship the Lord because He is holy. Psalm 29:12
So I will praise you, Lord, among the nations. I will sing praises to your name. Psalm 18:49
So through Jesus let us always offer to God our sacrifice of praise, coming from lips that speak His name. Hebrews 13:15
Give thanks to the Lord and pray to Him. Tell the nations what He has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8
Then if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, if they will pray and seek me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Then Jesus used this story to teach His followers that they should always pray and never lose hope. Luke 18:1ff
Read the Word
The grass dies and the flowers fall, but the word of our God will live forever. Isaiah 40:8
God’s word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts. Hebrews 4:12
You can trust this: Every word that God speaks is true. God is a safe place for those who go to Him. Proverbs 30:5
Teach and Explain the Word
Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. Psalm 86:11
Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16–173. Do
Make Disciples, Baptize, and Share The Lord’s Supper
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19–20
For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until He comes again. 1 Corinthians 11:23–26
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28
God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. Romans 13:10
But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 1 Corinthians 12:24–25
Community worship is not about you or me and our preferences.
It is about God’s redeemed people coming together to speak His praise, to listen to and learn from His Word, to grow and serve together, and to love each other as He loves us.
How each community of believers puts these things will be as unique as the people themselves but before we get caught up in traditions, marketing, and preferences maybe, just maybe it’s time for us as a community to stop arguing and seek God’s will.
I wonder what our churches would look like if we insisted on praying persistently until He directed us as to how He wants us to worship and serve Him in community.
Now it’s time for…
Faith ‘n Friends Link Party
I’m so glad you’re here!
This is a place to share faith, make friends, and have fun.
I’d love to connect with you on social media!
I’m excited to share the following posts with you this week.
@ Unmasking the Mess
@ Setting My Intention
Thank you, Julie and Angela, for partying with us!
No More Rules Link Party
Add 1-2 of your favorite faith/life posts.
Then just make friends and have fun.
I would really appreciate it if you would
Grab the Button or link back to CMB.
May your week be blessed with faith, love, and friendship!
Don’t forget to leave your prayer requests…
and pray over the list left by our friends.
Never Miss an Update
I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts in the comments below.
And if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone? Maybe a friend, family member, coworker, or through the links below…