There’s a word in the Bible for focusing on God: worship. Some people think worship is a ritual—that it’s all about a regimens, rules, and regulations. But, it’s not, worship simply means focusing on God.
God wants our focus because he is focused on us.
Our ongoing focus on God is the only real antidote to the worries, frustrations, and stress which causes so much exhaustion in our churches. Our churches need the kind of strength only God can bring.
In The Purpose Driven Church, I wrote about how church growth was more than numerical growth. Actually, God wants every church to grow:
- Stronger through worship
- Warmer through fellowship
- Deeper through discipleship
- Broader through ministry, and
- Larger through evangelism
The Bible gives us three ways we can help our congregations grow stronger through worship.
1. Provide an opportunity for vibrant corporate worship.
Let’s face it. Your people can listen to sermons, read Christian books, and sing along with the latest worship music. People can worship on their own, but worship is better when we do it together. All of those acts of devotion are good, but they aren’t enough to truly sustain followers of Jesus. They need to worship with other believers. That’s why the Bible makes it clear that we’re not to “give up the habit of meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25 GNT).
Corporate worship isn’t a luxury, it’s an essential for spiritual growth. This is a need that only our churches can fulfill. As shepherds in God’s family, we’re called to provide opportunities for vibrant corporate worship.
For ideas on improving your worship service, read 6 Physical Factors that can Impact Your Worship Service.
2. Teach people they can worship anytime, anywhere.
Pastor, you know this. You can worship anywhere. Your people don’t have to be in your building to worship. They can worship in their backyards, their offices, and their schools. Yes, they need corporate worship, but they can worship by themselves, too.
Many people in our churches have a false impression that they can only worship once a week when they come into our buildings. But that’s only a small fraction of our lives. Worship is much bigger than once a week.
The Bible says, “So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer” (Romans 12:1 GNT).
I don’t care how vibrant your church’s corporate worship is, it’s not enough. True worship is to offer every moment of our lives to God’s service.
3. Help people worship through their work.
Most of us will spend at least 40 hours a week for around 50 years in a vocational setting. Most of the people in our churches have no problem thinking that those of us in ministry worship while we work. Many assume we sit at our desks all day singing praise music and reading our Bibles. They don’t doubt our ability to worship while we work.
But they don’t understand that they can, too. They don’t realize that they worship God when they use the gifts they’ve been given in their vocation. Irenaeus, one of the great leaders of the early church, once said: “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”
When we do what God has made us to do, we bring glory to God. It’s an act of worship. Many people don’t have the strength and power in their lives because they’re trying to live out someone else’s calling. God gives us the power to live out what he has called us to do, not what he has called someone else to do.
The greatest temptation of life is to worship something other than God. Too many people are worshiping powerless gods, like money, fame, and power. We were planned for God’s pleasure. We were made to know God and to love him. Nothing you do as a pastor is more important than helping people do that.
Worship is the power our people need to become who God made them to be. It’s the power our churches need to reach our communities and our world.
Let’s grow stronger through worship.