There are far too many occasions when people have gone to church and they have come away without the one thing that determined whether or not there was any benefit in it at all.
They may feel good that they have done their duty or they may feel tired from all the activity, but how often do people come away from church saying, “I met with God”.
- “Jesus was there”
- “God spoke to me”
- “There was a real sense of God’s presence”
- “I have been with God’s people today”
Those leading the worship service have a solemn duty to pursue this end. In fact, a true understanding of the Christian ministry will necessarily create a situation in which those leading will necessarily consider themselves inadequate for these things. Any man can stand to entertain and to waste the time of the people of God, but a true man of God has a burdened call to speak the utterances of God.
Hence, the music, the reading of Scripture, the preaching, are all to be done under this one great purpose in meeting together.
The direct outcome of this will be…
- The true refreshing and building up of Christians in the things of Jesus [Luke 10:38-42]
- The most powerful witness to people who are lost in their sins [1 Corinthians 14:25]
As a Christian I am angry that so-called pastors of Christian churches use the worship time to fulfil their own egos or burden the people of God with things that do not edify.
Here are some examples of wasted church services…
- how people are to vote on political issues
- the preacher drawing attention to himself with another personal story
- how current events fulfil prophecy
Having said these things, we need to remember that it is not about ourselves. We are poor sinners waiting upon the Lord. What is the burden of this message is that we must keep church about this purpose and to guard against those things that are not about obtaining what is that one thing necessary.