Why we should celebrate our oldies
Should we re-evaluate how we do things in Church?
So – in terms of worship - are we talking here about a pic’ and mix? This seems a little trite. Yet we have to start somewhere. We have to realise, though, that worship is an attitude of mind, not an external action. It is not like those medieval sacraments of the Catholic Church, a set of actions performed to gain God’s favour. I am not proposing a 14-point check list here, to be mechanically ticked-off on some imaginary ladder into heaven’s favour. They are merely signposts on our personal journey into worshipping our God, tools to help us individually find that place within us that really connects with Him and pleases Him. I suspect that the first generation of believers would not have needed such a tool, because of their religious upbringing, worship would have been as natural to them as breathing.
Perhaps you can review this list, perhaps adding to it, but always being mindful of the mission statement for Hebraic Church.
We need to provide an environment where we can all meet God individually, discover and exercise all of our gifts (not just spiritual gifts) and callings and to worship the living God, with the correct application of His Word and an acknowledgement of the debt the Church has to the Jewish people, including a desire to bless them.
So how can this work in your Church?
One thing to do is to convene a meeting with your congregation and work your way through the list, each time asking the question;
If this was part of our service, would it personally help you to connect to God and exercise the gifts He has given you to worship Him?
This can be a show of hands or a debate, it depends on your congregation. But what is important is that you come away from the meeting with a better idea of where people are currently at. What you may discover is a resistance to change, the timing may not be right for something new. If this is the case then you need to pray that the enemy doesn’t use this situation to cause division and that God will work on individuals, if needs be, so that you will all corporately agree to go on this new adventure together.
And what is this new adventure? It may be a few tweaks or it may be a complete overhaul. Here are a few scenarios.
- Most people are happy with how things are but there are a significant number who feel that they would like to contribute during a service, but are not comfortable with pushing themselves forwards. One possible solution to this is to provide a way that written comments can find their way to a whiteboard display, so that ideas and thoughts may start to flow on a theme. Whoever is leading the service can, at certain times, react to what is developing …
- You are a rural church and it’s a nice hot summer’s day. One Sunday it is felt by some that God wants there to be more of a prayer focus than usual. So it was decided that small teams of people will go outside on prayer walks at set times, then share any outcomes at the end of the service.
- One week there is a sense that the majority of worshippers want to celebrate the Lord with music, dance and proclamation of the Word. So that’s what they did.
The watchwords here are sensitivity to God’s leadings and the needs of the congregation, willingness for some to ‘go with the programme’ if there is initial reluctance and also a willingness to take chances. Services can be planned in advance if there’s a definite feeling of what God requires, or it can all be left to the last minute, either a meeting of elders before the service or at the beginning of the service itself. There should also be enough flexibility to change things at any moment. If this can be done without chaos or disruption then all the better.
This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp