Relevant Worship “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Psalm 122:1 In the past year at Trinity, we have been working on developing a strategic plan to take the “living water” of the Gospel out into our community.
In developing this plan, we have identified four “core values” that are at the heart of our ministry. The first core value is “Relevant Worship.” We want our worship services to relate well and speak the truth to people’s lives. Of course, it helps immensely to have the best source material around. We have the Bible, God’s Word, and when our worship is founded on the Word of God, we know that it will be relevant.
The Book of Hebrews describes the Bible this way, “The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hopefully, you have had the feeling before where a Bible reading or a sermon based on a reading hit you right in the heart. Maybe there was something stated in Word or song, that expressed something which touched you in a powerful way. Perhaps it even moved you to change something and grow in faith. That is relevant worship, and that is how it is designed to be. But, there are some who may sit in their seats and say “I didn’t get anything out of it. Everything seemed dull. There was nothing new, and nothing exciting.” I must admit that I am sad when people say things like this, but there is a challenge for all of us.
First, for me as the pastor, the challenge is to relate the Word of God to people’s lives. Even though the Word of God is living and active, if it is spoken or preached in a “dull” way, it may not be as effective. I ask you as the congregation to please pray for me. As Paul says in Ephesians, pray for me, “that words may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.” (Eph. 6:19)
Second, for you as the congregation, the challenge is to come with open hearts to hear and receive God’s Word. Sometimes we come to worship with hardened hearts. The burdens of the world feel like they are on our shoulders. We get angry and irritable over the smallest things, and sometimes we get upset even in worship. Please pray that God would open your heart. When you worship, pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
Third, and perhaps the toughest for all of us, guests and visitors included, “Lighten up!” The worship service is not meant simply for your entertainment. God desires to speak to you through His Word. Let God’s Word in the Scripture readings and the sermon have it’s way with you. It will bring joy to your heart and the abundant life to your home.
Finally, it is my hope that through these prayers and changes we will rejoice together in relevant worship. This will lead us to say together, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the House of the Lord!’” In the Joy of Christ,