“We come worshiping and leave serving.”
Several years ago, my pastor-husband Mike preached a message on how serving God follows worshiping God—in that order.
Worship aligns our heart with the Lord and is the catalyst to serve Him.
Originally a church plant, Believers Church has moved locations several times in our history. Currently, we meet in a former warehouse. A contemporary feel, we have enjoyed stages of renovations to our worship center, meeting areas, offices, and children’s department.
No steeple. No ornate widows or tapestry. No pews. No religious traditions of men.
I’ve seen breath-taking sanctuaries and marveled in architectural designs of churches. The pure beauty of historical cathedrals and the modern design of present day buildings often dazzle our eyes. For good reason—great care was taken to prompt a visual stir.
The early church met and worshiped in homes. There are house churches today. A diversity of worship venues plot our world’s map; modest, huts, underground-secret-rooms, homes, modern, traditional, grand, and ornate.
On a college mission in Africa with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), we showed The Jesus Film by generator in church buildings. In villages without churches, we erected a portable screen in wide open fields, often barren places. Amazing to be followed by 100 or more children as we walked the dirt streets handing out invites, “Come see a cinema.”
Friends, we had church. We showed the film in an unfamiliar language and dialect to me. Yet, each viewing resonated in my soul. Tears flowed as I watched Jesus of Nazareth crucified on the cross. For. Me. For. My. Sin.
The African crowd moved me. The cries of hundreds echoed through the atmosphere. Wails with such volume, the cinema was no longer audible. They came and asked, “Who is this man Jesus that He would die for me?” The best part? Many believed and worshiped Him. Christ.
Ancestral worship was the religion practiced among the people of the region. Worship of Jesus Christ meant these children, teens, and adults could not return home to their family. A local pastor, missionary, or believer would take them in.
They were discipled and soon served their community. The gospel gripped their hearts to the point of change—worship the Lord and serve Him.
I remember making a church with my fingers and hands to my young children, Here’s the church and there’s the steeple. Open the door and see all the people. The people were my fingers tucked neatly inside my hands.
On Sundays many believers are neatly tucked inside the walls of a church building. This is a good and scriptural act. To come together. To worship the living God. To hear the Word greatly proclaimed to our hearts. Yet, something is often missing.
In some ways, our culture has become a church steeple people. It’s about the ambiance. The building. The pastor. The programs. The music. Sadly, a what-can-you-do-for-me mentality. Even—can you make me feel better about myself and life?
People are the church. Followers of Christ. Jesus is the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). True in both the local and universal church. It cannot be destroyed by a natural disaster. It can’t be destroyed by men who gun down those who give ultimate homage to God. The body can be destroyed, but the spirit lives on forever. The gates of hell cannot come against the church (Matthew 16:18).
The purpose of the church is to witness to the world about Jesus, focus on spiritual growth with teaching from God’s Word, provide Christ-centered worship and programs, and love others. The purposed church—willing disciples with Christ as cornerstone.
We come to worship which spurs us to serve. No more than our physical bodies can stay tucked inside the walls of a church building, our spiritual beings cannot authentically worship Jesus Christ and stay neatly tucked inside ourselves. Open the door and see all the people. There should never be a lack of volunteers who serve. Never.
We serve Him by spreading the gospel, volunteering in the children’s department or other programs, discipling believers, and doing life together.
Do you worship Jesus? Is your life a breath-taking sanctuary or a barren place? Does the crucifixion move you to serve Him?
The cries of my spirit echo through the atmosphere, “Who is this man Jesus that He would die for me?” Wails with such volume, my personal agenda is no longer audible. My life cinema is about Him.
The answer to our what-can-you-do-for-me mentality, “I’m Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus of heaven. I came to give you life. Worship me. Serve me. Be Jesus people.”
Join in with your thoughts; How can we be Jesus people versus church steeple people?
© 2015 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved
August 20, 2015 at 9:18 am | Uncategorized