Wow! Where to begin? Less than a year ago, I was happily serving a NC Baptist church as missions and worship pastor, and God began to shake up my world. In a whirlwind of Divine intervention, God took a very happy guy who had been serving a wonderful church for 23 years, and shook up my life to lead me to a job I didn’t think I could ever want to do. God’s ways are much wiser than our ways.
Since June 1 of this year, I find myself with a very long job title (Senior Consultant for Worship and Music, Church Ministry Team, which is part of the Congregational Services Group of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina) and an overwhelming, but awesome job – helping churches renew their worship and get on mission with God.
Overwhelming is an understatement. To look at the 4,300 NC Baptist Churches, there is a tremendous need for worship renewal. The majority of our churches need some serious help in connecting people with God through corporate worship experiences. Unfortunately, many of our churches are plodding along, not even realizing the great disparity. I covet your prayers as I seek God’s heart for the direction of this work.
I named this blog “Renewing Worship” because that is one of the strongest passions God has placed on my heart. Think of the definition of renew: tending to impart new life and vigor to. How can the Baptist State Convention of NC assist our churches in making that 60-90 minute time of gathering, usually on Sunday morning, a time that people go away realizing they have had a transforming encounter with our Creator? Worship, of course, is much more than our times of corporate worship, but this is certainly a focus of our churches.
Look at the corporate worship of your church. Don’t just ask, “How many people attended this week?” Also ask questions like, “How many people encountered the transforming presence of God through worship?” or “Did the people go away from our time together talking about the great music or sermon, or did they go away talking about our great God?” Changing the questions helps us focus on the right things.
I hope you will join me on this journey as we explore ways to renew (impart new life and vigor to) the worship in the local church.