Connecting Sunday Worship To Monday

Why am I doing this and what's the point?

Sunday_To_Monday_Blog

I have a 3 year old little boy who is incurably curious. When I spend my days off with him I am amazed and exhausted by the sheer amount of questions that he asks and that I try to answer. (My wife is a saint for answering far more questions when I am not home!) It is easy to become annoyed because some of the questions are seemingly simple and obvious like “why do I have to wash my hands after being in the bathroom?” Other questions are simple and yet profound and often overlooked like “what’s the name of that star?” while looking at a sky full of billions of stars. Even with all those stars he wants to know if there is a specific name for each one when I look at the big picture and dismiss them all.
 
What I am learning is that asking “why” is the most powerful and underutilized question in our leadership vocabulary. In addition it is also one of the main reasons people don’t connect Sunday worship to Monday.

We Are Temples (Lifestyle Worship)

What comes to mind when I say Holy? White, clean, pure, perfect, weighty, unapproachable?
What about the phrase “holy place”?  Stained glass windows, marble columns, gold statues, candles and incense, mountains, trees, a rubber floor and removable seating, a gymnatorium?
In every time and every place and culture people have built buildings, temples, shrines and places of worship and had special people dedicated to the worship of their God or gods. Whether it’s Mecca for the Muslims, Jerusalem for Jews, the Vatican City for some Catholics, Sacred mountains for the Taoist or countless other holy places. For each of these religions they built places for the purpose of interacting with something bigger than themselves.
This morning if everyone will pull out their bible or digital device and turn to 1 Corinthians 6 we’ll be using this as our text but I’d like to start specifically with verses 19-20. I’m reading out of a translation called The Voice so it might sound a little different.
19 Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you? You do not own yourself.20 You have been purchased at a great price, so use your body to bring glory to God!

Worship & Death (Singing Through The Tears)

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When I decided to go into worship ministry there were a lot of reasons swirling around. However, leading worship at funerals was no where even on my radar. In this past year though I have had to face the reality of what it means to worship in the face of death. I personally have lost two grandparents, one of which was my spiritual hero. Additionally I have lead worship for two funerals of our church family.

Before I illustrate some of the truths I learned about how to both worship and lead others in worship in these difficult times I’d like to set the stage a little.

Why Worship Talent Is Important (Uncomfortable Truths)

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Matthew 25 is filled with parables about how we are to live as followers of Jesus in the “between time” from Jesus ascension to heaven and his return at the final judgement. He talked about servants entrusted with an orchard, virgins waiting for the wedding procession, servants with investing and the separation of sheep and goats. These parables illustrated that the followers of Jesus are to be responsible, ready, productive and accountable.

In the business realm there is a term called talent management. It refers to the practice of not only recruiting qualified and capable people but helping them continue to develop, grow and thrive. I think Matthew 25 and in particular verses 14 through 30 speaks some profound truths into what it means for those in worship ministry about being good stewards of our own worship talent and those in our ministries. Even though the parable uses finances as an illustration, it goes deeper to the responsible and productive use of everything that God has given us to be used for his kingdom.

So here are a couple thoughts that I had and I hope they might help God speak in a new way through a familiar passage.

Planning Worship Services (beyond songs and themes)

Beyond_Songs_Themes_Blog

I was sitting in a Thai food restaurant discussing the various things that people expect out of a worship service like songs, volume, scripture readings and other things with a friend of mine when he asked the question that brought on the last couple of years of clarifying the “why and how” of worship design.

He simply asked, “what are you trying to accomplish when you’re planning worship services?” 

Worship Warfare Pt. 2 (How We Fight)

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Read Part 1 Worship Warfare (Enemies in Worship)

WORSHIP IS WARFARE

In warfare there is always a victory to be won and an enemy that will either surrender or be destroyed. We will either surrender to God and he will give us victory and destroy our enemies or we surrender to ourselves and Satan and we will both be destroyed.  In worship we are picking sides and fighting either for or against God.

Worship Warfare Pt. 1 (Enemies in Worship)

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A few years ago I was with my team backstage praying before we went out to lead worship for our Church family and a brother in Christ named Mike Wallace said something very powerful to us. He said that we were about to engage in an act of worship warfare. I’ll admit, I grew up in a Church environment where raising your hands was suspect and it’s taken me a while to grow past that unbiblical attitude. So when someone talks about spiritual warfare, lookout, there’s some serious crazy bout to go down! I love my brother though and respect him a ton so I heard him out. What was a quick statement and some real scriptural knowledge has lead to a couple of years really digging in and appreciating that truth.

Caution: Spirit Falling? Worship Theology

The above image was adapted from gracewaymedia.com (with whom I have a subscription).
In prepping for our Christmas Series based on Isaiah 61 I had a group of people read the entire passage and then we started asking questions like, what would a seeker, a new believer and a mature believer have questions about as they read this. I was struck by the quick response of what does it mean for the Spirit of the Lord to be upon me. Initially I was a little overwhelmed since I was preaching the first Sunday of the series and would have to address this topic in front of our congregation. But after thinking about it I realized that I’m really excited about this message.

As a worship leader I’ve struggled over the last couple of years with the role of the Holy Spirit in worship. Coming from a theological stream of Christians that are not Charismatic and uneasy about anything construed as “Pentecostal” I feel like I’ve had to overcome a lot of unhelpful attitudes and misunderstandings about what God’s Spirit does and does not do. We like to sing out loud the Doxology of Praise Father, Son, and then whisper under our breath “Holy Ghost”.