An Introduction to the Summer Blog Series
Do you have a regular routine when you attend church on Sunday mornings? What is it? It seems like the majority of us follow this common routine: arrive, take our seats, stand to sing/pray, sit again and listen to the sermon, stand again for communion/to pray, and stay standing for the sending song. After the service is over you may visit with your fellow congregation members or you may promptly head out. Was I close to guessing your routine? There’s a good chance it varies from the examples I gave. However, there is also a good chance that you stick to the same routine most weekends.
We are human, and we like routines. Following a set schedule or routine eases our stress/anxiety/tension. Routines give us the sense that we can predict what is going to happen in our day and assure us that we are prepared. Routines also allow for coordination among larger groups of people. So, yes, even during Sunday service, we and the church leaders follow a routine.
Routines offer benefits, like easing uncomfortable feelings. However, when we fall into and solely rely on our routines, we are more likely to miss the meaning and purpose behind what we are doing. We can lose motivation to continue pursuing, growing, and learning, all for the sake of feeling a bit more comfortable. We can lose our passion to grow in faith and pursue God. So, let’s examine our intentionality! Let’s consider: why do we worship?
Worship is more than just listening to songs or hymns provided by the choir, organist, or praise team. Worship is more than just following along with words on the screen while we stand for an unknown length of time. Worship is not solely music related.
Worship is an important part of the believer’s relationship with God. It is our way to express love, adoration, and gratitude towards Him. After all, God is seeking those who will worship Him with sincerity, authenticity, and intentionality. Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Intentional worship involves offering ourselves fully to God, not just in song, but also in our words. In how we treat others. God has set us apart from the world to serve Him. When we love others, are generous with our belongings, and help those in need, we worship God the way he intended.
Whether we are going through the motions in our routine at church, or engaging in other ways to serve, God expects us to offer our full attention to him. God isn’t just something we add to our schedules. We can worship God all the time, at any time. God is this present moment. John 4:23, says, “But 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.” So, we worship because God is deserving and most worthy of our praise. Our passion for worship is not based on and not limited to what we feel at the moment, but it is a time when we strip ourselves of any selfish agenda, take the attention off ourselves, and completely and wholeheartedly focus on God. That means, challenging ourselves to not settle into a comfortable routine.
Worship is a declaration that God is in the midst of all that is happening in our world today, a powerful weapon that says “God is in control, not our routines or schedules. God is more powerful than all the unpredictable things.” Worshiping teaches us to submit and surrender all our cares to God – our priorities, plans, hopes, dreams, and stress. Worship is not a guarantee that things will change immediately, but it will definitely help change and direct our hearts and perspective in life toward God. Worship allows us to find comfort for our present, and hope for our future.
If you’re looking for a reminder that worship doesn’t always “fix your problems, but it will tell you how small they are” check out this song below.
If you want to practice relying on the present moment by worshipping God and not on where your routine takes you, listen to this song below and just be present.
If you need to ask God for comfort and support to ease your stress and remind yourself to give control to God, listen to this song below.
If music is not the way you primarily connect with God, I invite you to explore the ways you do. Is it through prayer? Is it by serving others? Is it by reading His word?
Worship is not a routine. I encourage us all to practice intentional worship. Incorporate intentionality while standing and praising at church. After all, worship is our gift to the Lord who blesses us countlessly every day.