Every week churches around the world gather together to worship the Lord. We are called to worship God with our whole life (1 Corinthians 10:31), but we are also called to come together regularly to worship God as a church body (Hebrews 10:25).
If we are to worship faithfully as a church family we must be God-centered in all that we do. It seems unnecessary to say this, but worship is about God! We gather to worship God and everything in the worship service should relate to God: who He is, what He is like, what He is doing, how we can know Him, how we can grow in Him.
If we are to worship truly as a church we must be biblical in all that we do. The Bible tells us we should pray, read the Scriptures, preach, encourage one another, give, sing psalms, hymns and spiritual psalms and observe the ordinances of the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. If we are to be a biblically faithful church, these are the things we must do in worship. We should be very cautious about incorporating other things in worship. If we must do other things (announcements, business conference) these things should come before or after the worship service.
If we are to worship faithfully as a church, our hearts must be characterized by both joy and seriousness. We must be serious about joy. We must push through all the fluff and flippancy of our culture and seek God wholeheartedly. So we don’t want to promote the idea that worship is a time for all of us to relax and just enjoy a good family atmosphere. You won’t hear all kinds of jokes and stories in our worship services because the source of our joy is reflecting on the goodness and greatness of God in the Gospel.
If we are to worship faithfully as a church, we must reject entertainment as an expectation or motivation for worship. We come to church, not with the mindset of a movie goer or a sports fan, but with the mindset to partake in a rich biblical feast in Word, song and prayer and to encourage others to partake as well. We are not spectators, but participants. True worship is not a show or a performance.
Finally, if we are to worship truly as a church, we must continue in worship after we leave the worship service. So if we praise God on Sunday morning and live in a God-ignoring, sinful way the rest of the week, we are hypocrites and our worship is disgusting to God. We continue in worship during the week by staying connected to God through the Word and prayer and by seeking to please God through walking in obedience to Him.
May churches all over the world meet this Sunday to pursue and promote God-centered, biblically-faithful, Christ-honoring worship.