In recent weeks I’ve been writing about the theological vision of our church, walking through the following sentence:
Under the authority of God’s Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be a gospel centered church that worship God, loves one another, and proclaims the gospel to the world.
To this point I’ve discussed God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and gospel centrality. Now, let me continue by considering our mission of worship.
A Church that…Worships God (Exodus 20:1-6, Psalm 1, Psalm 16, Psalm 63, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Matthew 22:37, Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:15, Philippians 3:8, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 5)
I love how Augustine begins his famous Confessions. “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until we find our rest in you.” To be grounded in God’s Word, empowered by God’s Spirit and centered on God’s gospel is to have this as our glorious goal—to live passionately for the glory of God, ever growing in our relationship with God and reflecting his righteousness in our lives. We want to be a church that does not assume this vertical dimension of our calling, this most important mission. As Jesus said, our calling is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37). Or as Paul said we “count all as loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:8). Practically, this means that our Sunday gathering will always prioritize worshiping the Lord in songs that describe who God is and what He has done in salvation and that express a heart of awe, affection, and gratefulness toward Him. And since all of our lives are intended to be offered as worship to the Lord, our sermons will have an aim toward real growth in our knowledge of God and real transformation of our character into the image of our Savior. To be a church that worships God also means that each of us will seek to prioritize our relationship with God in private worship and that our small group meetings will seek to encourage us onward in our growth in godliness. We will seek to live up to our spiritual ancestors who said that the chief end of man is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”