Healthy Church Rx: Worshiping

In the previous weeks we’ve been covering the concept of church health as what we want to pursue as a church. Certainly, our overall pursuit would be the glory of God in all things but as a means to that end, want to be a healthy church. What does that look like?

A helpful acronym is “CREW”. This stands for Caring, Reaching, Equipping, and Worshipping. I encourage you to use that as a memory aid as you pray for the church, praying that God would make those a reality here at HLPC. So far we’ve looked at caring, reaching, and equipping. Today let’s think about worshiping.

While we look at it last, worshiping is certainly not least. It is the ultimate purpose of God’s people. John Piper has made the famous statement that “missions exists because worship doesn’t”. What’s he saying? Piper bases this, I believe, on John 4:23-24

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (ESV)

God seeks worshipers! His Spirit does the seeking, the calling, and the regenerating. He desires that we worship Him in spirit and in truth. That is worship that is God centered, God empowered, and God directed.

We believe worship to be one of the means of grace. These are the ordinary tools God has given us to know Him better and to be equipped for faith and life. In addition to worship there is the Scriptures, prayer, fellowship with other believers, and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Christians should take full advantage of these gracious gifts God has given His people!

Worship is vitally important to your spiritual health and to that of your family. It is in worship that you are doing what you were created to do and to be! It is in worship that you gather as the people of God to sit under God’s Word and to declare God’s “worth-ship”, from where the term “worship” is derived. Sadly, many who profess to be Christians treat worship as just another of many activities. As long as other commitments don’t interfere, worship gets some consideration. Parents, if you don’t treat worship as a priority don’t be surprised if your children grow up and walk away from the church. What is an afterthought today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Our worship at HLPC is designed to be God-centered, gospel-ordered, and marked by reverential joy. We want it to be participatory and not a spectator sport. We want to avoid an entertainment model of worship. We gladly utilize the resources of the past such as hymns and creeds but also realize God is at work in the Church today and utilize music and forms of our own time. Some might call the music/hymnody we use “blended”. We’re ok with that, but you’ll notice that we strive to maintain sound doctrinal expressions in all aspects of worship. Some of our music may be more accessible, but we joyfully utilize mostly hymns set to recent tunes.

Worship must be a high priority for HLPC. It’s crucial to church health. Our worship won’t be the same if you aren’t regularly a part of it. I pray that we’ll be drawn to God’s presence each week and will find our lives empty without it. We certainly won’t know church health apart from worship.