The following is published with the permission of our District Superintendent, Rev. Doug Conley. The article came out yesterday as part of his district Monday Memo, and I wanted to share it with all of you because it is an enriching read:
Why I Need to Worship
By Rev. Doug Conley, District Superintendent
A woman approached me after a service one week and said, "I wanted to let you know we won't be here for the next month; our daughter has swim meets on Sundays for the next four weeks." I am sure you have heard that or something very similar. It seems that gathering for worship has become somewhat of an option for many church attenders. I recently saw a statistic that stated that regular church attenders go to church 1.8 times per month. If that is accurate, it represents a cascading set of problems for church leaders. But that is not the purpose of this brief article.
I want to offer some thought on why I need to worship. I was in a worship service nearly a year ago that included an extended time of silence. During that silence these ideas came to me. I believe God was speaking to my heart and I hope to yours as well.
I need to worship because...
- I need to be reminded of the character of God, His attributes; to be reminded of who He is
- I need to be reminded of the Gospel - an infinite God came in flesh to secure salvation for sin-enslaved humanity
- I need to have my heart warmed with a sense of connection with the triune God
- I need to stop the frenzy to pause and listen, pray and think
- I need to be reminded of my finiteness, brokenness and helplessness to deal with it all
- I need to be reminded of His sufficiency for all of my needs
- I need to be reminded that following Christ is not an individual effort in isolation, but a journey in the context of a community
- I need to be reminded that the Christian life is a life-long transformational journey and that there are no quick fixes
I jotted these ideas down on the back of the bulletin and tucked it away in my journal. I have looked at these items several times in the intervening months. I noticed that there was nothing here about the kind of music, the style of preaching, or whether there was a fog machine or an organ. What I need in worship and why I need to worship has little to do with the context and everything to do with being reconnected to the eternal. My guess is that most of the people coming to your services this Advent Season are looking for the same thing. May God empower you for this season of ministry.