Church, we come worshiping and leave serving. Pastor Mike Friday
Several years ago, my husband preached a message on how serving God follows worshiping God—in that order. Worship aligns our heart with the Lord. But it also acts as the catalyst to serve Him.
Originally a church plant, Believers Church has moved locations several times in our history. Now, we meet in a former warehouse. The building offers a contemporary feel with renovations to our worship center, meeting areas, offices, and children’s department.
But, there’s no steeple. No ornate widows or tapestry. No pews. And no religious traditions of men.
Still, 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 and prompt a visual stir.
The Early Church
Yet, the early church met and worshiped in homes. And house churches exist 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 Zimbabwe, Africa with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), we showed The Jesus Film by generator in small church buildings.
In villages, we erected a portable screen in wide open fields, often barren places.
You see, it’s amazing to be followed by 100 or more children as we walked the dirt streets handing out invites. “Come see a cinema.” Most had never been to church.
So, friends. Let me tell you. 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 and my sin.
Further still, the African crowd moved me. The cries of hundreds echoed through the atmosphere. Wails with such volume, the cinema no longer audible. The people came and asked. “Who is this man Jesus that He would die for me?”
And the best part? Many believed and worshiped Christ as Lord.
Since people of the region practiced ancestral worship, worship of Jesus Christ meant these children, teens, and adults could not return home to their family. But a local pastor or Christian would take them in.
New converts to Christianity were discipled and soon served their community.
Church Steeple People
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. My fingers became the people tucked neatly inside my hands.
But on Sundays, believers become people neatly tucked inside the walls of a church building. A good and scriptural act to come together to worship the living God. And to hear the Bible greatly proclaimed to our hearts. Yet, something’s often missing.
We’ve become a church steeple people. It’s about the ambiance or the building or the pastor or the programs or the music. Sadly, a what-can-you-do-for-me? mentality. And, 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 or by men who gun down those who give ultimate homage to God.
The gates of hell cannot come against the church (Matthew 16:18).
The purpose of the church, Jesus people:
- Serve God with our lives and callings.
- Witness to the world about Jesus.
- Love and serve others with the truth of the gospel, meeting spiritual and physical needs.
- Focus on spiritual growth with teaching from God’s Word.
- Provide Christ-centered worship and programs.
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. There should never be a lack of volunteers who serve.
What Kind of Christian Am I?
- Do I worship Jesus?
- Is my life a breath-taking sanctuary or a barren place?
- Does the crucifixion move me to serve Christ?
- Has the gospel changed me to witness to, love on, and serve others?
The answer to the 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.”
Prayer: Lord, let 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 Christ.
Watch the Jesus film in English or another language.
© 2015 by Karen Friday, All Rights Reserved
February 16, 2017 at 8:30 am | Uncategorized