Posts Tagged ‘worship’

idol church

Monday, October 29th, 2012

I don’t hate church.

Agape Ann ArborLet me say that again to be perfectly clear. I don’t hate church. I’m a missionary and a church planter. God called me twelve years ago to vocational ministry. God called me to work in and for the church. My current endeavor is launching a new church community called Agape Ann Arbor.

As a missionary and church planter, I spend a lot of time talking to people about Agape Ann Arbor. The more I share our vision and our story the more confused I am by the reactions I receive. Here is a brief summary of what I typically share with someone interested in learning more about us. If you’d like to know more you can check out our Open Letter to Ann Arbor, Introduction to Agape Ann Arbor, and blog.

Agape Ann Arbor is a different kind of church community. Our vision is to be a community experiencing and expressing God’s love. The typical church in America is built around the weekend worship service, focusing on musical corporate worship and preaching. We’re building Agape Ann Arbor around relationships where people can experience and express God’s love with each other. The typical church plant launches with a Sunday morning worship service. We’re launching with parties and conversation groups where people connect and share relationally.

Virtually everyone with whom I’ve shared this vision has responded incredibly positively to the idea. Here’s what I don’t understand, why aren’t more people doing this? I’ve not met a single person trying something similar in the US. It’s almost an unspoken rule that if you don’t have a traditional Sunday morning worship service you’re not a church.

I feel like many of us have made an idol out of the Sunday morning worship service. I feel like we value singing and preaching more than we value Loving each other just as Jesus loved his disciples.

What do you think? Is this a fair assessment? What am I missing?

The Distance Between You and God (Part 4)

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The past several posts have focused on how Christ-followers can overcome the relational distance created between us and God when we sin.  To illustrate, we’ve been looking at Psalm 51.  The first two things that stand out in the Psalm are that we need to admit that we have sinned and then put our trust in what God has done to overcome that relational distance.  There is one more thing we learn about this from Psalm 51.

This is probably the lesson I need most.  It seems to be the thing that most people leave out in the restoration process.

Worship!

Throughout the Psalm David worships God.  In confession he honors God’s justice in judging sin.  In his request for restoration he honor’s God’s mercy in restoring him.  The Psalm reaches its crescendo in the second half of verse 14, “Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your deliverance.”  The Psalm closes in praise of God.

When Christ-followers sin, we create relational distance between ourselves and God.  We must acknowledge our sin in confession.  Then we can experience God’s work in restoring our relationship.  As we experience this restoration, the only appropriate response is to worship God.

How do you worship God when he restores you?