Summary: What can we do to insure our experience of worship is everything God wants it to be?
(Show video - Be the Church)
Today, I want us to do just what that video challenges us to do - talk about how our church can become a church that makes a difference. Sadly, what the video reports as being true of America, is also true of Portales. We have more churches than we have gas stations, with a church on practically every corner. Yet, it seems we do a far better job moving folks from one church to the other than reaching the unreached. As the video puts it, we need to move beyond being church attenders to becoming world changers.
We’re going to think on the priorities we’ve adopted as a result of the Transformational Church process. Those priorities are worship,
community, and mission. Why these? Four reasons.
1) A pragmatic reason - Research, like the Transformational Church study conducted by Lifeway, shows that churches making a difference in their communities are focused on worship, community, and mission.
2) A biblical reason - This was the pattern of the early church.
“They worshiped together at the Temple each day (worship), met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity (community) - all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved (mission).” - Acts 2:46-47 (NLT)
3) A logical reason - Our church is to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). In Acts 2:46-47, we see what activities a disciple is involved in - worship, community, and mission. We can conclude that a disciple is a follower of Christ who lives life as worship, lives life in community, and lives life on mission. As our we give priority to this three-fold focus, it is logical that we will be more effective making disciples.
4) A personal reason - One who belongs to Christ is called to be His disciple. I should seek to live life as worship, in community, and on mission. So I should be part of a church where these are priorities. If they are priorities for my church, then my participation in that church will reinforce them as priorities in my life. So let’s think together about these three priorities of our church, beginning with worship.
As we look to this passage that describes the worship experience had by the prophet Isaiah, I want us to make note of three things:
1. Worship is personal - “I saw the Lord” - v. 2
When Isaiah went to the temple, he went to a place of public worship and had a very personal encounter with God. We want the same to be true for every person who comes through the doors of our church. Yet, too often, people may come to the house of God, sing songs about God, hear messages about God, yet never really have an encounter with God.
What can you and I do to help prevent this from happening? How can we help insure that our worship services are meaningful and lead to those who join with us on Sunday experiencing a personal encounter with the living Christ?
A. We can seek to encourage others -