“You don’t go to church you ARE the church”.. but ARE you?



Jonathan Pokluda: Millennials, “Adulting”, and the Church


6 Implications Of 1 Cor. 12:14 — “Not One Part, But Many”


5 Big Things Missing from Modern Worship

~  Challies

I once paid a visit to one of the most mega of America’s megachurches. It’s a church whose pastor is well-known, a church known for its innovation, a church held up as a model for modern evangelicalism. I went in with as open a mind as I could muster. I left perplexed. I was perplexed not by what was said or done in the service as much as what was left unsaid and undone.

Since that visit I’ve had the opportunity to attend many more churches and, as often as not, they have been similar, missing a lot of the elements that used to be hallmarks of Christian worship.

Here are some of the missing elements of modern worship:

  1. Prayer
    That church I visited all those years ago was the first I had ever attended that was almost completely devoid of prayer. The only prayer in the entire service was a prayer of response following the sermon. “With every head bowed and every eye closed, pray these words with me…” There were no prayers of confession, of intercession, of thanksgiving. There was no pastoral prayer to bring the cares of the congregation before the Lord. This is a pattern I have seen again and again in modern worship services, with prayer becoming rare and minimal instead of common and prominent. Conspicuous by their absence are any prayers longer than 30 seconds or a minute in length.
  2. Scripture Reading
    Another element that has gone missing in modern worship is the scripture reading. There was a time when most services included a couple of lengthy readings, often one from the Old Testament and one from the New. But then it was trimmed to one and then the reading disappeared altogether in favor of mentioning individual verses as they came up in the sermon. But what of Paul’s command to Timothy that he devote himself to the public reading of Scripture (1 Timothy 4:13)? In too many churches this element has gone missing. In too many churches the Word of God is almost an afterthought. If a worship service includes no prayer and no Bible reading, can we even recognize it as Christian worship? Already we do well to pause and ask the question: If a worship service includes no prayer and no Bible reading, can we even recognize it as Christian worship?

More: https://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/301057-whats-missing-modern-worship.html

Why Do We Go to Church?

Recently James K. A. Smith discussed the “good life” and the implication for Christian living at the Wisdom Forum. Halfway through this dialogue he made a striking comment,

People come to church and have no clue why. They sing a few songs, listen to a sermon, and go back to their lives without any change. The problem is that they have no understanding as to why they are doing what they are doing.

I am still chewing on these words, and I am overwhelmed for resolution.

If the common church attender comes to “worship” on Sunday but does not know why, then we have a problem. Why, then, should you go to church? To be more theologically accurate, why should you gather with the church — since the church is not the building down the street, but the group of believers?

How will we change this misconception of our time together? We have a purpose, not just as a body, but as individuals too. Do they know that? Now that I have a Master’s of Divinity in Christian Studies, you might assume that I have all the answers. However, I need to be reminded of why we gather as much as anyone.

The diversity of the local church should mirror heaven to a dying, lost and sinful world.

So Why Do We Gather as the Church?

We “church” to glorify God. We gather around God. Romans 12:1 commands us to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God. This lifestyle propels communal witnessing (1 Peter 2:9), repenting (Acts 2:38), worshipping (Psalm 150; Ephesians 5:19) and teaching (Colossians 3:16). We gather because we are one body, drawn together by God to be a people of God who live for God. We testify to God’s greatness. We disciple others through life together. We serve, teach and encourage, not just one another, but the world at large.

We do not ultimately come together for Sunday worship service to experience an emotional response that brings joy to us as consumers, though many Westerners gather for this very reason. Rather, we gather because God has united us. We gather because we live life together in being effective witnesses to our local communities. We gather because the diversity of the local church should mirror heaven to a dying, lost and sinful world. Christians are made to gather.

So again, I restate the issue at hand. Do believers and weekly church attenders really know this? Even if you think your church members know this, you may want to re-educate them because there might be blind-spots in your pews. Thankfully, everyone in the church has a purpose.

Read more: http://intersectproject.org/faith-and-culture/why-do-we-go-to-church/

Francis Chan: If All You Had Was Scripture, What Would Church Look Like?


12 Reasons Your Church Doesn’t Produce Spiritual Growth