Somewhere it seems we've begun to buy in to an idea that the hour we spend in worship each week isn’t really church. I hear hints of that sort of thinking in comments such as one a friend posted on facebook earlier today:
A Missional Church is more than a “mission-minded” church. It has to BE the church to this world by going out and meeting this culture, listening it without judgment, bringing the authentic Word to it, having a real servant heart for every person God created.
Such statements seem to suggest that somehow we ARE the church more when we are going out into the world than we are when we are gathered together in worship.
Some churches take one Sunday each year and instead of having worship services go out into the community to serve. Some churches are even putting that into practice monthly (and I’ve heard suggestions that Grace consider doing something along those lines).
I am a huge believer of the church living out its mission by going out into the world and I hope my leadership of Grace reflects that belief.
But I also believe in worship.
I need to reflect a lot more on this but here are a few first thoughts for conversation.
Worship is a gift we offer to God. Just before Christmas I blogged about what God was teaching my heart about offering Him our expensive perfume. I know we too often fall to the temptation to make worship about us (insert Matt Redman song here) but sometimes we get it right and when we do I believe God is really pleased.
Each week holds 168 hours. I’d love to think that we might spend 56 of those hours sleeping and maybe a few more in personal hygiene and exercise. We’d still be left with more than a hundred hours to go out and BE the church. Shouldn’t we devote a single one of those hours to give God, and God alone, our full attention?
I guess this is the question for me – are we really any less the church when we are gathered to worship than we are we are going out to love our neighbors? Can we also BE the church when we have entered His gates with praise?