Summary: Sunday Morning Church is only a pre-game warmup for "real worship". Find out what real worship is all about and why it’s important we not think about it the same way the world does.
OPEN: A Sunday School teacher was teaching her children the benefits of unselfishness. She concluded by saying’ "The reason you are in this world, children, is to help others."
After a moment’s silence, a little girl piped up
"Well, then, what are the OTHERS here for?"
As I studied Romans 12 this week, it occurred to me that this chapter tells us how to worship. Verse 1 says: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this is your spiritual ACT OF WORSHIP.”
APPLY: Over the past three weeks, we’ve talked about the roles of
· And Deacons
These are the primary leaders in worship
They are the pace setters.
· The Preachers preach/teach/protect
· The Elders - pastor/guard/protect
· The Deacons – serve in various ministries for the church
So a person might be excused for asking “If these men do all that in church (pause) what are the rest of us here for?" When leaders like these do their job right, others in the congregation might think to themselves
“I’m not sure I can do things as well as they can. So, maybe I’ll just sit here and worship quietly. I’ll just ‘stay out of the way.’”
That kind of thinking betrays a worldly mindset about worship.
You notice what Paul says in verse 2
“Do not conform any longer to the PATTERN OF THIS WORLD, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
If you worship like worldly people do…you’ll have a hard time understanding God’s Will for your life.
So, how does worship become patterned after the World?
The worldly way of worship often uses terms like “Clergy and Laity” and the thinking goes along this pattern:
· There’s a clergy - who do all the ministry in the church
· And then there’s the laity - who come to be “ministried” to.
Have you ever heard those terms: clergy/ laity?
Does anybody know how many times those words show up in scripture?
The idea of clergy/laity reflects worldly thinking… not Christian thinking
Why? Because, when people use those terms, they imply that clergy DO ministry… and the everyone else (the laity) doesn’t.
That’s the way things were at the first church I served.
I did ALL the ministry… and everyone else showed up to be ministried to.
* I did the preaching
* I gave the communion meditation every Sunday
* I led singing
* I did visitation of the sick and shut-ins
* I ran the Youth Group, and I was the part time secretary, etc. etc.
And I truly liked it that way. It was fun. It was enjoyable.
Then, I hired on at another church - and they had people in the church who DID most of those things. And I thought to myself “what’s left for me to do?”
I had gotten caught up the clergy/ laity mindset.
And a lot of church people get caught up in that thinking.
They figure… these clergy guys do the ministry and we “laity” folks show up to get minstried to.
But Romans 12 tells us – that’s NOT how it works.
Do you really want to worship God? Then you better get used to getting out of your seat, because you can not do REAL worship do that sitting down.
ILLUS: One preacher I knew complained that in the congregation he served he couldn’t get any of the members to staff the nursery. Now, this was an older congregation and the minister was working hard at bringing in young couples.
Of course, lots of these young couples had babies… and these babies needed a nursery.
But none of the regular members wanted to give up their comfortable pews to work.
At least one member told him:
“I’ve been a member of this church for 20 years and already put in my time. I don’t want to work in the nursery… I want to sit down and worship”
What was she saying: “I want to be ’Ministried’ to… I don’t want to minister."
Paul tells us that is a worldly way to think.
And it’s worldly because it says “Worship is all about ME!”
By contrast Paul tells us: “…in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (vs 5)
Worship is NOT about you
Worship is NOT about me
Worship is about what you and I can DO for each other because we ALL belong to each other.
And so Paul continues:
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.