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Friday, May 23, 2008

which comes first - worship or mission?

For all I have been challenged by and agree with Michael Frost, I still stand by my original critique (before I listened to him) and written about HERE in a post called "worship or missions?" In a preview of this coming Sunday's sermon on Acts 2:42-47, I find myself back to the same point, that worship necessarily precedes (and leads to!) mission. Here's a snippet from the end of the sermon:

The key to being a church at her best is to focus on the God whose church this is. That is why, as interested as I am in being missional and outward focused, that worship is the necessary starting point. Without an awareness of who God is and what God is doing, all we have are some programs and expense items. Without an encounter with the God who has stepped among us in Christ, all we can do is try to ramp up our religious efforts. Without the power of God’s Holy Spirit at work in us and through us, we will wander off course. Church is at its best when God is at the center and we respond worshipfully, obediently and joyfully in running whole-heartedly wherever God leads us.

That’s why the very most important thing I could ever do for our life together is point to God through Jesus Christ and scripture and say to you, “This is your God.” Come, let’s serve Him together.

2 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

Without an encounter with the God who has stepped among us in Christ, all we can do is try to ramp up our religious efforts. Without the power of God’s Holy Spirit at work in us and through us, we will wander off course.

A good point. This makes me think of some liberal churches, for example, that downplay the supernatural nature of Scripture and yet still have religious efforts. They wander off course becoming too interested in important social issues at the expense of the most crucial issue, the gospel.

Cheers, Robert.

Happy Weekend, and congrats on the graduation once again.

Reyes-Chow said...

Robert, couldn't; agree with you more. I think there are some "new" churches that have reversed this idea. Barth is one of those dogmatics that I love because of his view on worship and it being the central focus of community. The center from which all other things grow. Now I do think that there is room to redefine worship as I think many start to lift up some tactics of worship to idol status, but again worship should be central and what compels folks to move out.

In terms of the theological spectrum, I am not sure that good worship is left or right, but that each can find some failings in the role of worship. While worship is primary, w/o mission in some form I am not sure it is really worship. I have been to both progressive and conservative services and have felt just as frustrated and/or moved in both.

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