Thursday, June 15, 2006

Missional Worship

In a recent Daily Heartlight article Phil Ware describes worship in missional terms...

I'm convinced that much of our sense of worship is well-intentioned wrong-headedness. We've confined worship to what we do in our daily quiet times, in our church building sanctuaries, and our small group Bible studies. In other words, worship takes place away from the everyday world where we live, the jobs where we work, the leisure activities we enjoy, and the activities where our children play. In other words, worship is what occurs at the margins, fringes, and short moments of time where we are isolated from "real life."

While worship with Christians is great and necessary, it is private worship with our church family. Occasionally someone from the "outside"may come in and be blessed (1 Corinthians 14:24-25). But Jesus left the incredible worship world of Heaven to enter the everyday world of fallen humanity to do the will of God, show the love of God, and bring God glory -- in other words, Jesus' life was a life of worship! God wants us to follow our Lord's example. He wants us to take our worship out into the "real world" where we work, play, go to school, and watch our children in their activities. Worship must be what we do in our daily lives out in the world around us (Romans 12:1). We meet together for worship to "stimulate one another to love and good deeds" in our daily worship lived out daily in the world around us (Hebrews 10:24-25NAS).

Our power to change the character of our culture will be found in the compassion and quality of our daily lives, not in the political clout we can marshal at the polls or in the power of our Christian assemblies(1 Peter 2:11-12). The way we conduct ourselves in our daily lives, openly living our faith but not shoving it down everyone's throat, will give us the opportunity to share the real basis of our hope in Jesus even in the most hostile situations (1 Peter 3:13-17).

Once we grab hold of this concept, we're in for quite a surprise. We learn that our lives will be heard by the skeptical world around us more than our words. We will discover that each day is a day holy to God. How we treat our family, the way we conduct ourselves at work, the kind of person we are at school, the way we carry ourselves at our children's events, the way we help those around us who are in need, andthe kind of neighbor we are when we are at home all are a crucial parts of worship. Rather than God being a tack on part of our day-to-day lives, he will inhabit all spaces and places of each day.

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