Saturday, January 20, 2007

Dipping a toe or Diving in?

We worship God with all we have. It's more than just clapping our hands or singing songs; it's celebratory, it's reverant. Dr. David Jeremiah says this:
"God is to be praised, blessed, gloried in, rejoiced in, exalted, feared, extolled, and thanked. We worship God with all that we have."
We have an opportunity to come into the very presence of God, to be changed from the inside out. There will never be a Sunday when every person loves every song that is played or connects deeply with everything that Pastor Steve says, but the responsibility is not on musicians or Pastors to connect us with God, it is on us! We are the ones who make a decision about what our attitudes will be like when we come into that building.

I've been reading Dr. Jeremiah's book, "My Heart's Desire" and am blown away but what he has to say on this subject.

"If you're going swimming, you don't stand forever beside the pool davving a toe into the cool water. Ultimately the time comes to let go and dive in. There's no way to swim without using your whole body, unless you want to sink and drown... Worship takes the same kind of spiritual commitment. Don't sit on the back pew, dabbing a toe into the deep spiritual waters. Dive into the wonder of the presence of God."
Let's all stop testing the waters. Let's dive in as a church family. Let's see what God can do in and through a family of believers who worship Him.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Preparing to Worship

Depending on how our day is going or how the week went – or when we last read God’s word or prayed – these things matter when it comes to worship. God is ready for me to worship Him at any moment and has gone to great lengths to make that so. But then there’s me. I am not always thinking about Him. Opportunities to worship pass me by. Moments when however led, I would give Him glory. I wish I was more prepared for worship each day. And more than that, I wish my church was more prepared for worship when we gather together on Sundays especially. Imagine if we all came together prepared to worship. It would be better than spending half the time breaking down distractions and getting focused in each of our hearts only to find that we have just a little time left to be together, with God front and center, giving Him all the glory we can give.

Now for me, I do better preparing on Sunday morning, probably ‘cause I know I need to go first to the throne of God as the lead worshipper. (Let’s face it, accountability works). But, I need to be more prepared during the week. What about you? Maybe you are better during the week, but rely on the church to do it for you on Sunday. I’ll tell you what…I’ll seek to do better preparing for worship during the week and you seek to do better preparing for worship on Sunday, and let’s see what happens. Deal?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Multi-generational Worship

There are a lot of churches in America and all over the world right now that are experiencing an amazing revival in worship. These churches, mostly made up of college-aged students are experiencing a joy and freedom in worship that has previously not been opened to them.

Young people are buying worship CDs, they are spending money to go to worship events and they are constantly longing for an opportunity to experience God. Church for them is no longer about sitting as a spectator, listening to music and hearing a message preached, it is about an encounter.

The problem, however is that, for the most part, these churches are made up of white, college kids and they do not represent an accurate picture of heaven, or the church.

What is amazing to me though, is that we are uniquely positioned here at Clovis Hills with a large cross section of people of various ages and ethnicities and an opportunity to dive into this experiential worship of God.

No one is doing this! There are no churches that I know of that are our size and have our diversity that participate in this kind of worship experience.

What does this mean? It means that we have a unique opportunity to not only dive into the presence of the Lord, but to do so with each other, in an environment where young people can be mentored and helped to grow by those that have experienced life and where older people can be refreshed and renewed by a younger generation eager for God. Multi-generational worship is the goal, but it's not happening.

I believe if we were to embrace this idea of diving into God, which for some means trying new things and for others means going a little slower than you'd like, we will be a church that impacts and changes our community and the world!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

We are His!

We're introducing a new song this week called Sing to the King. It is a simple song that makes one bold declaration. "We belong to Jesus, and He is all we need!"

Maybe that's two declarations, but the point is the same. When we become Christians we identify ourselves with Jesus. When we come to Christ we effectively say, "I no longer want to belong to the world.

I only want Him!

Is that true of us as we worship together?

Is that true of me as I walk through my day?