Worship is central to who we are as believers. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that this is our chief goal, and indeed, God’s purposeful plan. Throughout Scripture, we observe that our Lord is working toward the fulfillment of a world filled with His glory, a kingdom where all rightfully worship Him as the Eternal King (Numbers 14:21; Revelation 21:22-27; et al.). And as Christ followers, we are able to experience a foretaste of what is to come as we orient our lives around Him. We have the privilege of exalting the Son now!
Handt Hanson once described worship as the hub of the church itself: “Worship is the hub around which all things revolve, and we should be unapologetic about that. Worship simply shapes and reshapes everything we do.” In that worship, we get lost in the worthiness of our God and authentically express our adoration of Him. Like King David, we sing, play, kneel, and even dance as we worship the Lord. (Okay, maybe I went to far with the dancing thing for us Baptists!) Worship itself should not be wrapped around methodologies or programming; it should reflect the natural response of a grateful people! In the words of Sally Morganthaller, we are either “Davids, worshippers with slingshots, or slingshot experts with just enough worship to make us acceptably pious.”
Our worship not only pleases God, but it also carries with it a tremendous byproduct—evangelism/missions. As we give ourselves fully to the glory of God in worship, others are drawn to Him and His presence. Unbelievers experience both the warmth of worship and the power of relationship! And prayerfully, their eyes are opened to the majesty of our God! No wonder Gerrit Gustafson issued this challenge: “Worshippers, don’t just enjoy God’s wonderful presence for yourselves. Call others to join you there through faith in Christ. And those of you who want to see the world come to Christ, don’t just call men and women to believe, call them to worship.” Just as God’s goal is to produce a world filled with His glory, so should we work toward that end. We are ordained to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness to His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9b NASB) which entails inviting others to join us in this worship endeavor. You might say that we facilitate the enlistment of more worshippers—which our great God deserves!
I love the way we see worship and missions intertwined during the Christmas season here at Temple. Certainly, the biblical birth narratives teach us how worship and missions go hand in hand, but I am speaking of our specific church schedule and activity. Take for instance this coming Sunday as we come together for a Combined Worship Service at 11 a.m. in the Sanctuary (Bible Study is at 10 a.m.!) for our Music Ministry presentation, “Sing Gloria!” What a wonderful opportunity for us to come together as a family of believers to glorify His name! Help us remind folks of the schedule change, and as Gustafson encouraged us above, call others to join us! Don’t just enjoy that opportunity for yourself!
Finally, don’t forget our continued effort to support international missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This past Sunday, we received more than $87,000 toward our goal of $145,000. Wow! God is good! Through our collective commitment, we echo the heavenly voices: “Who will not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy; for all nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed” (Revelation 15:4 NASB). Let’s give, pray, sing, serve, and go until all nations worship Him! See you Sunday!