Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Worship as an 'end' or a 'beginning?'

The biggest danger in worship? That "it" becomes the "end" instead of the "means." Let me try and explain...the biggest danger I see in worship is that the "worship experience" and all that it entails; the emotions, the lyrics, the music, the band, the lights, the sounds, the noise - all of it - become the goal and the end point, instead of worship simply being a way to connect with God. Sally Morgenthaler, a longtime proponent of worship evangelism has had a shift in her own thinking on this. Church must go beyond the 4 walls for it to be effective. Her article explaining her journey is a must read (click here).

Here at Northlake, we are turning the ship and realizing that "good works" must accompany "good news" in order for us to make an impact in the kingdom of God. How do I know this? Quite simply, we are just following the example of Jesus. There's nothing wrong with doing events to try and "get people to come to church" but I am convinced that a far greater impact can/will/is being made when churches seek to "go to the people."

So what part does worship play in this? To be sure, worship, or the "corporate singing" part of worship that we do on Sunday mornings will continue to be an important way for us to "connect to God." And to be sure, I believe that people, to a certain extent can be led to Jesus through the worship of others. However, I believe more strongly that what the un-reached world in the U.S. is looking for is a church that takes seriously its place in the community by reaching out to meet their needs. We believe at Northlake that "Good Works" lead to "Good Will" which gives us the platform to share the "Good News."

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