What’s Missing in Modern Worship?
I just got done reading a good, but sad commentary on the modern church by Tim Challies. Check it out here. He mentioned several areas that missing in too many modern worship services. His list included; prayer, scripture reading, confession of sin and assurance of pardon, expositional preaching and congregational singing. To be honest, that article broke my heart if it is a real reflection on the modern church.
What does that leave our churches with? Great experiences devoid of conviction of our sin. Wonderful social programming without recognizing purpose of helping those in need around us. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 reminds us that whatever we do should do for the glory of God. If we have packed out worship services, wonderful, feel good sermons, all without giving Glory to God, we aren’t the church God as called us to. We have the appearance of godliness, but deny it’s power (2 Timothy 3:5).
Many years ago, I got a friend to come visit our congregation. He was used to high energy worship services. We aren’t that. His remark is that we must be spiritually dead because we didn’t show enough emotion during worship. That really hit me and for several months I watched our worship with a critical eye. I discovered a couple of things in that time of observation. No, we weren’t expressive in our worship, but that didn’t mean we weren’t passionate. Yes, there were times, maybe too many, where we were going through the motions of worship. We have worked hard to keep that from happening in our worship times. Our leaders remind people why we are gathered together. We remind the church who the center of our worship is (clue: it’s not US!).
One of the advantages of the smaller church is that we don’t have so much talent that we can relegate our praise to a “team” that we watch and admire. We all have to be involved to make it work. I believe we can grow without selling out; but if we don’t, I am more concerned about God’s approval over man’s approval.
That article really struck a chord in me to make sure the congregation I work with doesn’t forget what we are about. It can be easy to do when we focus more on being relevant over right. However, we can shoot ourselves in the foot by becoming too legalistic when we focus on being right over being relevant. God wants us to be both those things when sharing our praise to him with each other.
What do you think a church needs to do in order to have a God centered worship that connects the people of our culture?