Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Yeah, What Is It For?
In at least these three places, then, Paul argues that one of the primary goals of what we call “corporate worship” is to edify the whole church. In the assembly, we should do all things in order to build one another up. We sing to address God, yes, but also to teach and admonish one another.That says volumes about the so-called "worship wars." If you are having to shun, hurt, or disregard some in order to "move the church forward," are you in fact edifying God's people? If you are "bringing them in through the front door" at the expense of those that have been sitting in the pew for decades - or serving in the choir or some other activity that must be cast aside for the sake of modernization are you edifying those people?
This is not to say that edification is more important than worship, as if the two are in competition. But it does mean that even those corporate activities in which we address God directly—singing praises, giving thanks—should have an explicitly horizontal focus as well.
Singing is for teaching. Praise is for instruction. Adoration is for admonishing.
What does this mean for church leaders who are responsible for planning and leading corporate worship? For one, it means that one of the main grids through which you should filter everything in the service is, “Does this edify God’s people?” It’s a question we can use to help ourselves and our members understand what “worship” is.
Continually I learn about one simple fact, church is not about what we do nearly so much as how we do it. If we honor God and each other - that's winsome. Might not supply explosive growth, but steady growth and steady maturity.