Why do we sing in church? Why do we sit and listen to a sermon on Sundays? And why do we do it together?
Have you ever wondered about these questions? God both desires and is worthy of our worship. And “worship” is a familiar word in church. But what it means and looks like for different individuals and congregations seems to vary. So what does it look like for us to be a worshiping church?
At a high level worship is reverence and honor that stirs a priority response in us. It’s less about a specific sound, phrase, or action, than a heart and spirit that leads to praise and thanksgiving.
A passage that may be familiar — Acts 2:42-47 — is one of the clearest pictures in the Bible of the Church in its infancy. Often when studying this passage we focus on interactions within the congregation — what the new Christian community did. But through this account God also shows us a picture of what He values. We see how He desires to be worshiped by His people… the heart that shapes our worship.
Pastor Rob kicked off “The Worshiping Church” message series on Sunday and over the next several weeks leading up to Labor Day we will dig into this Acts 2 passage. In each message we will highlight unique aspects about the worship of the early Church and stress how this should shape the character of our corporate worship today.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.Acts 2:42-47
One important word we will see emphasized in this passage is “together.” The church moved in unity together by the Holy Spirit. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching — together. Together they provided for each other’s needs. Daily, they worshiped and ate together. And, as they did so, the Lord added to their number.
The importance of togetherness is something we may have a tendency to miss in our culture. We instead tend to place a higher value on a personal response in worship. And certainly personal devotion to Christ is the single most important decision a person can make. But I believe, too, that God calls us to live and move together in unity — that God’s idea of the church is many parts working together as one body.
It’s easy to understand that, at least theoretically, “many hands make light work.” But in reality the more people you gather, the harder it is to accomplish a goal without the right mission — a single unifier. And this is where we need to focus on how God calls us to live for Him and worship together.
So please join me as we look at Acts 2 in this series and discover anew what it looks like for us today to become even more “The Worshiping Church.”