Worship is so much more than a feeling, ritual, or church meeting.
And surprisingly, every one of us spends every day of our life in worship. Even the least religiousperson you know spends each moment of life worshipping. Worship is an expression of our value system. Worship is the devotion of our heart to what we believe matters most in life. Worship is the declaration of what our heart values most.
Ask yourself this simple question: “What is my single greatest motivator in a day?” The desire for more money? More recognition? More success? More family time? More personal time? More, more, more…
Did God factor into your answer?
A man once asked Jesus about the greatest commandment. Jesus responded with clarity: first to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and second to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
This commandment doesn’t apply only to the Christian. The problem with most worship is that it is not proper worship–offered to the only one worthy of our glory, honor, and praise. What was your answer to the simple question asked above? That’s the object of your worship. Jesus didn’t come to die for your sins because you worshipped him properly. He came to offer his life because you didn’t worship him at all.
Here’s where church helps. Worship should direct our hearts to the only one worthy of our devotion, Jesus. The first part of Jesus’ answer reveals our focus in worship–worship isn’t self-centered. Worship is an intimate, personal encounter with God himself. The open invitation to set aside time to gather together to seek, surrender and express our love to God. We meet weekly in church as a family of believers–men, women, boys, and girls, with the deliberate purpose of worshipping God together. We come together as a community of believers to encourage one another to love God the way Jesus told us–with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Loving God through loving one another.
Worship is an act of giving God the focus He deserves. Setting aside the time to give him my best. Learning to give back what rightfully belongs to him. Worship is more than an act. Proper worship flows from a heart that knows: all that I am and all that I have are graciously given by God; all that I am and all that I have rightfully belong to God. Proper worship is a personal relationship with God.
For far too long, people have associated worship with the idea of an activity or a duty reserved for a Sunday church service. We’ve tethered worship to a specific format or an aspect of a church service, easily identified by someone standing before a crowd leading worship. We sometimes use words like boring, dry, powerful, or relevant to describe the worship portion of a Church service. These descriptive terms refer to our assessment of how well a singer/musician/speaker directed our time in a Church service. But worship is so much more than that. Worship is personal in nature. Someone else can’t do it for you. Proper worship should be familiar, not foreign–part of every day life.
Please don’t confuse our service format with a familiar ritual. At Andrews Memorial Baptist Church, we intentionally emphasize God’s Word in our worship services. In each service we engage our Bibles with verse by verse exposition to explore God’s message to apply in our life. Music also shares an important role in our worship services. We don’t gather for entertainment or as a showcase for performers. Church meetings flow from our commitment to Jesus’ commandment. Our time together in every Church service is for the unified, express surrender of our hearts to God’s glory.
Worship can’t be contained within the walls of a church building. We come together as a community of believers to extend God’s love to our community of neighbors. Loving my neighbor as I love myself is really all about sharing Jesus’ heart with my neighbor. We value what Jesus values–people. Jesus gave his life on a cross for people. He was buried in a tomb. But the tomb couldn’t hold him; he left the tomb alive after three days. Jesus followers couldn’t hold back on sharing the message that Jesus is who he claims to be, the Son of God. We want people to know Jesus. Our love for God changes our love for people in the way he commands us to love. Fulfilling his commandment is what worship is all about. Loving God. Loving neighbors.
We’re here to worship Jesus. Come join us.