Dynamic Worship for Longview EPC
”But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship
the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
- Jesus Christ
“We should consider it the great end of our existence to be found
numbered among the worshipers of God.”
- John Calvin.
Foundations of Corporate Worship
Every person worships; meaning every person ascribes ultimate value to something. Every person has someone or something that deeply affects their emotions, that radically orients their thoughts, that primarily controls their decisions. The difference between people is not whether they worship, but what they worship. Depending on what you worship, you are living in eternal reality or temporal illusion. Depending on what you worship, life is experienced as fractured or as whole. Depending on what you worship, you are headed down a path of destruction or a path of healing. Thus a central theme of the Bible is that all creation should worship the one, true, God. As worship theologian Zac Hicks writes: “That God should be worshiped is His Divine command to all creation, and it is thus the goal and end of all existence. Therefore worship involves all of life; nothing said, thought or done is out of the realm of the worship of God. Worship, for believers, is then not only an act engaged in on Sunday mornings. It is a way of life.”
With that said, corporate worship is a gift from God. It a consistent call to re-orient a people prone to distorted, destructive worship back to distinct, constructive worship. As Exodus repeatedly makes clear, God’s people are redeemed in order to gather in worship of him (e.g. Ex 5:1, 10:7-11). Jesus underscores this purpose in John 4 and the New Testament authors tell us in various ways to “not neglect meeting together” (Heb 10:25, 1 Pe 2:9-10). Likewise, Scripture teaches that while expressions of salvation in Christ, such as affecting social renewal through word and mercy ministries, will one day cease - worship will remain forever (e.g. Rev 21:1ff, 22:3)!
All of this is because of God alone.
Everything, including the opportunity and ability to worship, begins with God. Only because of what we receive from him may we worship. Only because he is seeking true worshipers may such a person exist. Only because of his grace (as opposed to human creativity or spiritual devotion) do we enter into true worship. If worship begins with anything else, it is no longer worship of the biblical God. Just as we must rely on the Spirit of God for our salvation (John 3) we must rely on God for the ability to worship in truth as by his grace he reveals himself to us through his Word. As worship Pastor Bob Kauflin says, “It takes God to worship God.” (Titus 3:4-7)