This Week & Beyond...
Hey everyone, just wanted to start off by saying a big thank you to all who came out this last Sunday night. Not sure how you all felt, but I had an absolutely amazing time with the Lord, and, worshipping with you all. The Lord is so good!!
Just a quick testimony from myself... I had being praying that morning and wrestling with the Lord about some specific stuff. Well, while we were worshipping, the prayer team laid hands on me and began to speak over me. Linda ended up praying EXACTLY what I had been praying that morning!! There is no way she could have known to pray that! The Lord was speaking and I was sooo blessed! If you have a testimony or something from the Lord that night that you would like to share, PLEASE comment below!!
Our next team night is November 27th, what would you like to see happen? Same thing? What would you change? Please get in touch with me if you have thoughts!
As per usual, let's keep on praying for Calvary Chapel, the ministries and the congregation. This week Corinne & Sheldon are leading the team and coming off the funeral of their nephew. Let's keep them in mind as they pour out and serve this week.
The Perfect Worship Service
by Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, Missouri
"For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
The perfect worship service. I pondered the term recently as I heard it used by someone else. What is a "perfect worship service"? I wondered.
Perhaps a perfect worship service is one where everything goes exactly right. Every musical note is on pitch, on time, and in the right place. Both the vocalists and the instrumentalists nail each song without a glitch. Every word is timed beautifully. Each movement is choreographed to the nth degree and pulled off flawlessly. When you look back on the entire service, you would not see one error. Would that be a perfect worship service?
Maybe a perfect worship service would be where all the people in the congregation actually participate all the way through. They sing and respond just as those in leadership hope they will. Each person willingly stands or sits, speaks, sings or listens as would be appropriate for the moment. Would that be a perfect worship service?
It could be that a perfect worship service would have something to do with the environment. The acoustics of the building add to -- as opposed to detracting from -- the overall goal of the service. The lighting and ambiance are just right, perhaps changing in different places in the service to reflect the appropriate mood. Suitable banners or other symbols set the tone for the theme of the service. Even the temperature would be just right for all involved -- both male and female. Would that be a perfect worship service?
Or maybe a perfect worship service is one where everyone leaves happy. They have each experienced a beautiful blend of musical styles that accommodated their own taste. There was a perfect ratio between participation and listening. Each and every person would leave the service with a big smile because they were perfectly satisfied with every single thing that happened. Would that be a perfect worship service?
It seems to me that all of these things are desirable. Honestly, though, I think that perfection in any of these areas is probably not going to happen. The biggest, most well-funded churches in the world, with large, full-time staffs, regularly meet after the service to discuss what they could have done better. Why? Because they know there is always room for improvement. Perfection in the physical realm -- or perfection in making every person happy -- is not going to happen this side of heaven.
So, in light of this, could we ever have a perfect worship service? Well, what if we look at this issue from God's perspective? God told the prophet Samuel, "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).
Rather than striving for perfection in the physical realm or trying to make everyone happy, what if we willingly turn our hearts to Him? This is not to suggest that we should slack off on doing our best with the music and other aspects. God is deserving of the very best we can offer. When everything is said and done, however, He wants our hearts.
Let's make the choice this week to turn our hearts toward God as we lead His people in worship.
1. Do you ever focus too much on the external and not enough on the internal? What could change that?
2. What sort of difference could it make if those of us involved in the worship ministry truly had our hearts turned toward the Lord in worship?
3. How can we help change the focus of the congregation from physical things to their hearts and the spiritual?