When you come into a community, into a Christian community […] it’s a human instinct to look around and, if you kind of like the community and you think you might want to be a part of it, there’s an instinct to conform a little bit to the way things are done. How do we dress around here? Okay, I see a pattern, I can do that. I’m going to church now, I’ve gotta get my hair cut. I’ve gotta get a Bible that looks like that guy’s Bible. I gotta master the vocabulary here and learn to talk the talk a little bit.
What is it at [your church] (external culture things)? Maybe I’ve gotta learn to drink better coffee in the morning. Maybe I need to learn to drink better beer at night. I’m not completely joking. That’s not for everybody – the coffee and beer thing – and it cannot be what defines us.
Do not ever think that belonging to [a Christian] community means that you need to change your external habits – in regard to unimportant things. Because in the church, we should have blue highlights and tattoos. We should have polo shirts and khakis. We should have sundresses and t-shirts, skinny jeans and mom jeans, goatees and cornrows, long hair, short hair. The church should contain every kind of person, but every kind of person enthralled and captured by the same Jesus, our living Lord. Because whenever the church is identifiable by its cultural externals, we’re done, we’re done.
So if you come to church, I want your drive to be, I’ve got to know Jesus better. He has gotten my attention and I need to go further in relationship with him. And then, the really important things flow from there, like loving people, for instance. So […] if we can be characterized by love for Jesus, and love for people, we’ll be doing alright. Amen? Amen.
Marc Davis, “What you need to know”, 20 September 2015
Found on Facebook this morning:
“We don’t come to church, to be a church. We come to Christ, and we are built up as a church. If we come to church just to be with another, one another is all we’ll get. And it isn’t enough. Inevitably, our hearts will grow empty, and then angry. If we put community first, we will destroy community. But if we come to first and submit ourselves to him and draw life from him, community
gets traction.” – C.S. Lewis
Posted by Mark Spence on Sunday, September 27, 2015
(Honestly, I didn’t mean for this post to be so distractingly link-happy. The last link is the one you want.)
One of the best things we can do is learn from our forerunners. I recently started stewing about how to create a worship leader discipleship program, and so you might have noticed some recent posts “tipping my hat” to various resources I’ve found online. Hopefully I’ll grow those out more later.
Tonight I was looking up Youtube links for this coming Sunday’s worship setlist to give to my team, and I found this wonderfully beautiful rendition of Indelible Grace’s version of “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken“:
Scrolling through the comments, I found a helpful Youtuber explaining what RUF was, that it was PCA-affiliated, and a few clicks later, landed on the RUF ministry at the University of Pittsburgh (my alma mater). A few more clicks, I landed on City Reformed‘s website, and (finally — the point of this post) found their explanation and guiding principles behind worship.
Some days I just love where the Internet takes me.
Adding this to my collection on worship ministry resources. John Piper’s sermon on Ephesians 5:17-20.
Bob Branch spells out practical do’s and don’t’s for leading worship.