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Celebrative, God-Centered Worship in the Context of Community

by Robert J. Young
Main and Oklahoma Church, McAlester, Oklahoma
August 11, 2002
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
"This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed...whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, thought he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain...." (Mark 4:26-28)

In this series of eight articles, we are discussing church growth based on seven essential ingredients for "automatic" church growth. This sixth article summarizes the fifth quality characteristic.

Perhaps there are few places where the church can go awry more quickly than in corporate worship. First, worship must be about God, focused on God, and provide a meaningful response to God's love, mercy, and grace. Worship celebrates God's nature and work in this world--past, present, and future. Second, worship must touch the worshiper in spirit, emotion, heart, and body. Worship alters attitudes. Third, worship is designed by God, not by human beings. Worship is always a reflection of and celebration of God's truth. Fourth, worship is personal. Corporate worship never replaces individual expressions of admiration, respect, and praise. Corporate worship cannot be better than the individual worship experience.

Worship in the growing church is characterized by an atmosphere of expectancy and anticipation, a sense that God is present so that we can in our upward look find divine connection and reconnection. Such connections enable to the worshiping community to look around in sensitivity and awareness, enhancing the "one another" aspect of our life through the sharing of worship.

This awareness of our surroundings, seen through the lens of renewed spiritual sensitivity in our revisioning of God, extends not only to the assembled community but to the global community around us. At the heart of the challenge to become like God is our regular reflection upon and celebration of his nature, both privately and in the public assemblies.

How would you describe the worship in the congregation you attend? Is there a sense of God's nearness, praise, expectancy, celebration, enhanced community? Let's recommit to worship God.


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