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Why bother? Why gather? What’s the point of corporate worship?

January 23, 2010

For some years now, I have been of the following conviction that has shaped the way I worship, privately and publicly:

If all a church meeting is, is a bunch of songs that I’ve heard sung better on the original albums, a sermon that is essentially just a bible study read out loud, and some cheap instant coffee and inane chatting about not very much at all, then it has been a shocking waste of time: the gathered church is supposed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of God’s glory on the earth: we should be led, and lead others into, an encounter with the Living God.

Not very well worded, this has been a deep, heartfelt conviction for so long that it is hard to express in words, but it leads me to the following desires for the church.

  • Worship must be more than singing the latest Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Chris Tomlin etc.  If that is all you’re giving people, then they may as well stay at home and listen to their albums.
  • In worship, people don’t seem to need the same amount of help to be quiet and intimate before God as they do to be exuberant in praise.
  • Biblical worship involves the whole person – I am not sure there is room to say “I’m dancing inside”.
  • Sermons must be more than technically correct, since anyone with a brain and a bible can produce some semblance of a bible study – this too is to be an encounter with the Living God: speak life to me, don’t just impart information.  Give me something I can’t get at home!
  • All people are involved in leading worship: your voice, your actions, your speaking and singing and shouting and dancing (or lack thereof) have a very real influence upon the worship of those who can see and hear you – be an inspiration to them and lead them into His courts with praise!
  • We are in the habit of ignoring the words we sing, and therefore singing lies and untruths are common in the church.  This has got to stop!

I am being deliberately provocative and deliberately brief – I intend the next few weeks posts to look at the above areas (and any others that come to mind!).

If you have been provoked, then please feel free to comment on these posts: consider subscribing to the blog to follow my thinking; and, just for one second, think about what it might mean if I might not be wrong – what could the church look like?

Also, since much of what I write is for those who may consider themselves, or are considered by others, to be ‘prophetic people’, then please hear this – YOU are responsible for bringing this change about.  YOU are the forerunners, YOU are the influencers, YOU are the ones others look to to take a lead in these things.  You may not know it, or realise it, but its still true.  BE PROPHETIC – communicate the heart and mind of God in your words and your actions.  And do not leave this up to the worship leaders and the elders – they need your help!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2010 11:49 am

    I could not possibly agree MORE with your prophetic insight, Gareth. Nor could I AMEN this louder!! You have echoed my heartbeat once again, mate.

  2. hazel stones permalink
    January 23, 2010 2:31 pm

    this sounds good to me – I would hear more of your thoughts – and take action too!

  3. Mad permalink
    January 23, 2010 4:46 pm

    Great article. To be honest having been in churches for many years, sometimes I just feel bored and yet I want much more and I am not satisfied. I want to worship God and be stirred by his word. I want to come away changed and having met with God. I want to see people healed and a corporate baptism in the Holy Spirit.

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  1. Lies, damned lies and song lyrics (WBWG #6) « Amos5's Blog

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