Monday, November 24, 2014

How Does God Feel About Your Worship?

Jesus shall reign where ever the sun does its successive journeys run.  The earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.  The gospel will go forth to all the nations and they will come to Him bringing their tribute and praise.  Mercy wins.  That is the gospel; that is the work of Jesus Christ.

And so we come to worship God, at His summons, at His command, with great hope and expectation.  Like Sara with Hagar, however, we can be tempted when we do not see the results as quickly as we would like – and think that we need to take matters into our own hands rather than trusting the Lord and working by faith.  Overly zealous in the wrong way, American Christianity in the 20th century took on a marketing, church-growth mentality to growing the church that has caused us to think about churches as products -  and parishioners, even unbelievers, as consumers that we must market to in order to succeed.

Pastors have been told that too much talk about sin or deep doctrine is “off-putting” to the consumer and so he should instead seek to entertain in order to grab the attention, especially in a day where each individual is bombarded with marketing messages, advertisements and enticements, at an almost relentless rate throughout every day and night.  70s style of worship led to 80s style and then 90s much the same as every other style of entertainment in our culture.

And if it is up to us to be culturally relevant, the church has proven that she can never keep up.  Try as she might she just can’t seem to be worldly as fast and as new and as hip as the world.

But what if it isn’t all about us?  What if we are not the audience, none of us, when it comes to the worship service?  What if God is the audience?  What if the thing that should concern us most is whether or not God was pleased with our worship and not whether or not it was our style, or whether it was hip enough for the kids, or whether it was culturally relevant enough for the visitor?  What if churches aren’t supposed to be shopped in the same way you choose your favorite restaurant?  What if we are more like the food than the consumer?  Come and worship the LORD, but make sure you taste good – to Him.

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