It has been five months since we launched our new Worship Journey liturgy and I have been so encouraged by this new way of worshiping the Lord! How are you doing with it?
In our new approach to worship we journey through the Gospel together every Sunday morning. There are eight steps in this weekly Sunday journey: call to worship, invocation, confession of sin, proclamation of the Gospel, response to the Gospel, listening to God’s Word, response to God’s Word, and benediction. (Please see the sidebar on Page ? for a description of these steps.)
Although we take these same steps each week in our worship journey, you have probably noticed that our services do not always look the same. That is because many of these eight steps can be expressed in different ways. For instance, the call to worship can be expressed through a prayer, through a song, through reading a passage of Scripture (e.g. Psalm 100:1-3), or through words the worship leader says. This kind of variety has kept our services fresh.
However, what is more important than variety in how we worship is the heart we bring to worship. Jesus tells us that “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” (John 4:23). Isn’t that amazing? The Father seeks for people who worship Him in spirit and truth.
So again I ask, “How are you doing with our new liturgy?” I invite you to bring your whole heart to worship and to put it into each of the eight steps of Worship Journey. What do I mean?
By way of illustration, let’s say you have been invited to a new acquaintance’s house for dinner. You don’t know quite what to expect. You barely know your host and he did not ask about your food preferences. As you sit down to the table, you happily discover that some menu items are familiar favorites. However, you also see foods on the table you do not recognize. What will you do? Eat the familiar favorites and “take a pass” on the other items? Or will you decide to be adventuresome and eat some of everything that has been prepared?
Now, thinking of Worship Journey as a meal prepared for you each Sunday morning, I want to invite you to take the second approach, the adventuresome one. In other words, I ask you to consciously decide to take part actively in each step. Intentionally, thoughtfully, from the heart.
Here are two things I would like you to do in order to engage in worship more fully. One, invest some time thinking about the eight steps of Worship Journey on page ?. Read the name of each step and chew on the brief definition in italics underneath the title. Seek to better understand what the point of that step is, and ask God to help you to truly enter into that step as we gather to worship. In other words, digest the Worship Journey liturgy.
Two, as you come to worship on Sunday, arrive in the worship center a few minutes early. Pick up one of the “Worship as a Journey” bookmarks from the pew rack. Remind yourself of what we are about to do and think again about what each step means. Then decide you are going to intentionally and personally engage in each step, doing your best be an active worshiper. Ask God to help you worship the Lord “in spirit and truth” and then dive into the feast!