|Discipleship Goal #2 -Public Worship|
We have started a new series of Blogposts based on sermons preached at Word of Grace Church.
People often ask or are seeking for the next great method/strategy to grow church or reach the lost.
I believe that strategy was given to us a long time ago and has not changed in content or its ability to produce fruit and be effective. Jesus said "I will build MY church" and He told us to" go and make disciples" .
I have always been passionate and convinced about this one thing : the way to reach the world is Jesus' last commandment. We need to make it our first commission i.e we need to be disciples who make disciples who will change the world.
Each week on a Sunday, millions of people around the world gather as churches to worship Jesus, just as we are doing, this morning. Christianity is a personal faith but it is not a private faith. The moment we receive Jesus and God becomes our Father, we are joined to a family of believers with brothers and sisters. There is no solitary Christianity . This morning we are going to look at the biblical basis of Public Worship of Jesus.
Types of Church Goers
- Don’t come at all
- There are some Christians who believe it’s just me and God TV. They are not part of a local church.
- The highest form of punishment that the State imposes on murderers in the rarest of rare cases is the death penalty – and in India it is death by hanging. Imagine a Christian buying a piece of strong rope, going to his home, tying it to the ceiling and hanging himself. That’s exactly what Christians that are not part of a local church are doing. They are punishing themselves with the highest form of punishment that the church reserves for unrepentant believers – not death by hanging but separation and excommunication. Yet many Christians routinely chose to do this. See Mt 18:15-20
- Come occasionally – once in a while (also called CEO Christians – Christmas and Easter and Other Occasions).
- Come regularly – but regularly late. You can see them tiptoeing thru the hallway halfway through the worship.
- Come on time
- Come before time
- Come much before time to serve
What the is Biblical command and Example of public worship each Sunday?
Practice of the first church Acts 2:42
The early church in the book of Acts met not just weekly but daily in the temple courts and devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, prayer and hospitality.
Custom of Jesus – Luke 4:16
Jesus went to the Synagogue each Sabbath. … “as was his custom”
It’s commanded in Scripture – Heb 10:24-25
Do not neglect meeting together as some of you are in the habit of doing…. But encourage one another, and spur one another to love and good deeds
It’s modeled by the apostles – 1 Cor 5:4
… When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus …
- God promises his presence – Mt 18:20, Mt 28:18-20
What is the purpose of our gathering?
- - Declare his praises 1 Pet 2:5,9
- - Build the church through spiritual gifts & encouragement
- - All given gifts to be used 1 Cor 12:7
- 1 Cor 14:12 try to excel in gifts that build up the church
- 1 Cor 14:25 … God is really among you
- - Confession of Sin Jas 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
- - Encourage one another Heb 3:13
- - Practice “one anothers” of Scripture.
- Acts 2:42 – apostles teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer
- Mt 18:20 – Jesus promises his presence
- Heb 10:24-25 Spur one another to love and good deeds
- - Fulfill our hearts longing to be together with other believers –
- - Thanksgiving 1 Thess 5:18
- - Intercession 1 Tim 2:1
What is your Participation Level ?
Just as there are different levels of attendace, there are differing levels of participation.
Un-involved, disinterested, bordering on hostile
They have been probably dragged to the meeting or have come there to fulfill a religious obligation
Just observing what is happening.
Receiving from the Lord through the worship, Word, the testimonies, etc.
Once in a while they will bring a contribution – either a testimony, or a prayer or read a scripture .
These are engaged and are into what is happening. They would regularly testify, pray, read scripture, prophesy, etc.
Owning the meeting
Finally you have people who carry ownership of the meeting. Not only do they pray, and sing and prophesy, but they are concerned when other’s don’t! They see a lack and try to remedy it. They come well prepared for the meeting.
What can you do?
- - Pray for the meeting and come with your heart prepared to receive and to share
- - Show up early to serve
- 1 Cor 14:26
- Eph 5:19 Being filled with the Holy Spirit
- - Using our Spiritual Gifts – tongues, prophecy, gifts of healing, message of wisdom, words of knowledge, visions, …
- - Public Participation – Pray, Praise, Thanksgiving, Testimony, Bring a Word, Prophecy, Spiritual Gifts, Giving
- - Praise Ps 22:22 22 I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.
- - Prayer – Acts 4:22-31
- - Thanksgiving –
- - Intercession
- - Caring for people (helping visitors navigate the service and the facilities)
- - Singing, clapping, raised hands, dancing, jumping, shouting, …
In addition to Public Participation, there is also Private Participation.
- Private Participation – Greet, Converse, Share, Pray, Thank, Encourage, Practice Hospitality, Ask, Teach and Admonish, Inviting the unsaved to the meeting, Loving one another
Public participation when the church is gathered is a very important part of the life of a Christian. We all come on a Sunday morning with different parts of a jigsaw puzzle. If we don’t put use our piece and place it at the right place, the picture will be incomplete. You are holding a piece of the puzzle in your hand. You have an important contribution to make.
"The true Church is not an institution to be kept apart from the world because the world "is common and unclean," but a vital heart of truth and love, beating with the life of Jesus, and sending abroad its sanctifying pulsations until nothing shall be common and unclean."
E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words
Colin D Cruz