Here at the Baptist Church we’re currently thinking about what it means to be a church. It’s not always easy to define what that really means, but I would contend that a ‘church’ is basically a family of Spirit-filled Jesus-following children of God.
As part of this process we’re looking at various aspects of our life as a church community. One specific topic in the series was about being a worshipping church, which in itself is a complicated (and sadly sometimes controversial) concept!
Christians tend to focus on three particular aspects of worship, namely Singing, Serving and Sundays – or, with my preferred alliteration: our worship should be Loud, Lived and Located.
Loud: The Bible insists that we should sing God’s praise, and shout to the Lord for joy. We have every reason to sing and shout the praises of the God who loves us and died for our sins and defeated death and is coming back to reign forever with mercy and justice.
Also, Jesus told us to be his witnesses, which necessitates being heard by the people we’re witnessing to – and the more joyful our worship, the more likely it is that people will hear and want to know more about this Jesus we’re so enamoured with!
Lived: The Bible tells us to honour God with our lives, to offer our entire lives in worship “as a living sacrifice” (Rom 12:1). Whatever we do, whether at work or at home or in between – even at church! – we should aim to please our heavenly Father by loving our neighbours and “throw[ing] off … the sin that so easily entangles” (Heb 12:1).
Located: The Bible tells us to gather together for mutual encouragement and collective worship. It’s sad that churches haven’t been able to gather regularly over the last year, but we’re getting there; and as we do, remember that if you are part of the family of God, regular get-togethers with other family members are a part of life – and you have to admit that singing God’s praises is much more fun with other believers doing the same thing!