What does God think of our Sunday gatherings?
What does God think of your Sunday gathering? A very important question, yet one we often fail to ask. We care deeply what other’s think; did we keep everyone happy with our choice of songs, was the sermon short enough, was the sound too loud, are our chairs comfortable enough, was the gathering a pleasurable experience for our people, etc., but when was the last time you asked this question, “what does God think of our Sunday gathering?”
This isn’t a write up about the fear of man, but, I wonder if we do at times fear man more than God, or care about what our congregation thinks more than what God thinks? Andrea Seu Peterson says, “The problem with the fear of man is that you have a thousand masters instead of one to please. You think fear of God is bad? It’s nothing compared to the alternative. Fear of man is a cruel tyranny. It’s exhausting, it’s complicated, and your not nimble enough to pull it off.”
Is it possible that in our attempts to be mindful of what others think, we’ve drifted from the most important question, “what does God think?”
When I read verses like Mark 7:6 “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”, I say, “Lord, I sure hope that’s not what you think of me and the church I have the privilege of serving.”
Is this thing I call worship, worship, or have I made it into something else? We can appear to be doing all the rights things and yet it can be noise to God.
Amos 5:23-24 says, “Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
Isaiah 1:15 “When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen”.
Worship that is biblical is always…
God-centered (God is clearly the priority) The goal of every Sunday gathering is that our people leave saying, “what a great Saviour!”, not, “what a great band, preacher, atmosphere.” Is God clearly the priority when your church gather’s?
God-honoring (God is clearly exalted) The goal of every Sunday gathering is that Our choice of songs, what is said and read should have a clear focus on Jesus. Jesus the preeminent One should be front and center, not our preferences, our wants and desires.
God-focused (God is clearly seen) The goal of every Sunday gathering is to create a
banquet feast for the hungry, the thirsty. If you are like me and your people are like the ones I have the privilege of serving, I/we wander, I/we drift, I/we forget who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. It’s not that we haven’t been eating and drinking all week, but often from other sources that leave us hungry still and thirsty still. Only Jesus the living bread can satisfy our true hunger. Only Jesus the living water can satisfy our thirst. Are we making sure that Jesus is clearly seen when we gather? Not just in the preached word but in every part of our gathering?
A.W.Tozer once said, “The decline of the knowledge of the Holy has brought on our troubles. A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way towards curing them. It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as HE is.”
From the moment our gathering begins, our goal should be, to help our people think of God more nearly as he is. To spread a banquet feast before them, a place where they will eat, drink and be satisfied in Christ alone