Worship Arts: Worship and Mission9.25.2016
As this was our fourth week in the “We” series, we came to the fourth and final clause in our vision statement (“We are a spiritually hungry people seeking to turn from sin, become like Christ, and share God’s transforming Word with the world“), and it caused me to think yet again about the relationship between Worship and Mission. At PEPC you’ll notice we don’t necessarily gear our worship services toward the non-believer. We aren’t particularly “seeker-sensitive.” We don’t shy away from engaging the deep things of God or pointing to some of the more culturally challenging aspects of our faith such as our own sinfulness and the reality of the cross. Now, hopefully our services our welcoming to the visitor (believing or no), and we don’t use unnecessarily “churchy” language, but again, the worship gathering itself is geared toward the people of God. This is because the primary model presented for us in the New Testament for how to do church was that the early believers would gather in worship and then scatter in mission. Gather in worship, and scatter in mission.
In his book Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper makes the statement that “missions exist because worship doesn’t.” And he’s right! As humans we were created to be engaged in a worship relationship with God Almighty the Maker of Heaven and Earth—as the Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it, it is our “chief end.” In other words, it’s what we were ultimately made for, and so, when a situation exists where people are out of right relationship with God (not worshiping Him with their lives—just look around you!), this is what motivates us to scatter in mission! This is the reason behind the missional charge Pastor Doug shared at the end of the sermon today:
– Pray for 5 people in your life who don’t know Christ.
– Look for opportunities to serve them in love.
– Be prepared to share with them that it is the love of Christ that compels you.
My prayer for you this week as you scatter is that having been fortified and encouraged in your faith through our time of gathered worship this morning, you would be empowered for and engaged in the mission of God!