Freedom in Worship
For the last four Sundays, we have made a minor adjustment in our Sunday morning worship bulletin that has made a few waves. Not including a detailed order of worship has certainly ruffled a few preferences and led to some distress. Please allow me to apologize for making this change without explaining why beforehand. Please know that this decision was not taken lightly, nor was it made to make anyone feel unwelcome in worship.
The primary reason Pastor Chris and I have chosen to remove a detailed worship order is this: We’d like to invite our fellow believers to a greater sense of engagement and freedom in worship. Put another way, we want to see both long-time members and guests focus their attention less on the agenda of our gathering and more on the object of our worship: Jesus Christ.
Living a daily lifestyle of worship is not about knowing what will happen next. It is looking for ways that God reveals Himself and responding to it by giving him glory with our heart, soul, mind, and body. With love and grace, we are asking our church family to engage in worship more like Mary than Martha (Luke 10:38-42), focusing on being with Jesus and one another rather than looking to see what is to be done next.
Pursuing freedom in worship does not mean flippancy. We must never take tithing, praying, receiving God’s Word, or singing to Jesus for granted. Indeed, it is the highest privilege and responsibility that was opened to us because of the shed blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-22). Freedom in worship isn’t even about a physical activity like raising hands or singing loudly. Freedom in worship is when Jesus becomes everything to you. Mike Harland, director of LifeWay Worship has said, “Freedom in worship is not when you overcome your inhibitions – it’s when God overcomes you.”
As we continue this trial run of not having a printed order of worship, I pray that each person who attends our worship service will be overwhelmed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and the power and grace of our Heavenly Father. May Jesus be ALL we can see.