Values For Corporate Worship, pt. 2

Values For Corporate Worship, pt. 2 September 29, 2014

What arethe values that unite us in corporate worship? And what are we aiming for whenwe gather together on Sunday morning?

Last week Idescribed the primary value that unites us on Sunday and every day—namely, wewant our worship gatherings to be deliberately and manifestly God-centered. Butthere’s much more that unites us and gives direction to what we do on Sundaymorning.

In additionto being God-centered in our meetings, we also want to be distinctlycross-centered. Our songs, sermons, prayers, and other activities allexplicitly connect to the gospel. Why? A couple reasons.

First, webelieve even our most heartfelt and holy worship requires the purifying work ofour Mediator before it is acceptable to the Father. If God is going to bepleased with what we sinners do on Sunday mornings together, it must—must!—becleansed and presented by Jesus Himself. Even saints require the work of theirMediator to approach God.

Second, wewant our congregation to be fully engaged with every part of the meeting onSunday. We are worshipers all, not spectators! But how shall we get peopleengaged? That is the question! We believe nothing engages the mind, heart,body, and soul of worshipers more deeply and more effectively than the gospel.Even the worshiping assembly in heaven hasn’t gotten over the cross. What inspiresthem to sing with a loud voice and fall down on their faces? This cry: “Worthyis the Lamb who was slain!” (Rev 5:12) We believe it would be impossible toimprove on that theme! …and presumptuous even to try.

Practically,this value of cross-centeredness means:

  • We structure ourworship meetings to conform to the gospel by including elements of adoration,confession/repentance, faith, and thanksgiving, recognizing that even the shapeof our meeting communicates what we believe about approaching God.
  • We deliberatelyinclude the specific content of the gospel in our songs, prayers, sermons, andother worship elements, desiring to prepare ourselves well for the worship ofheaven.
  • We assume thatworshipers in our gatherings will be fully engaged—body, soul, and spirit.

Next week, value #3:saturated in the word.