We will continue the Worship Wars discussion next week. This week, I want to share with you a real conviction that I have that will speak to the issue of worship renewal. Our times of corporate worship are so dependent on the times of personal worship of the people in the congregation, i.e. personal worship is a prerequisite to corporate worship. If we truly want to see life-changing God-encounters in our times of corporate worship, a vital need is that our churches are creating disciples.
I believe one of the most awesome times of worship renewal/revival I have ever seen was a time when over 100 people in our church were placed in small groups to study Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God. Each person was engaged in life-changing daily Bible study and then gathered to share life with a small group each week to see how God was working in their lives. As people were involved in the discipleship process, they became more hungry for God and more sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. All of that spilled over into our times of corporate worship as people gathered with a strong desire to worship God with the church. Unfortunately, we did not have a clear discipleship strategy that would continue to create a disciple-making culture in the church, and the times of worship eventually lost the weekly mountain-top experiences that were occurring as people were sharing life together and walking close to God.
What kind of discipleship strategy does your church have? Unfortunately, most churches have more of a hit and miss approach to discipleship. The Congregational Services group of the Baptist State Convention (of which I am a part) is passionate about helping churches create a disciple making culture. The convention’s Find It Here emphasis is a great beginning for your church to get on track with discipleship.
WHAT is Find It Here: Embracing Christ 2011?
Find It Here: Embracing Christ 2011 is the second year of a 3-year focus on evangelism, discipleship, and missions. During the 2010 Find It Here Easter evangelism emphasis, nearly 700 churches participated in intentionally sharing the Gospel of Christ. The Find It Here: Embracing Christ emphasis is about focusing North Carolina Baptists on making fruitful disciples who bring glory to God. Fruitful discipleship happens when a life is transformed through embracing Christ’s commands to follow Him and abide in Him. Through a continuation of an Easter evangelism emphasis in 2011 and a simple and intentional discipleship strategy, churches across North Carolina can decide how to customize the emphasis to make disciples in their own context. The point of Find It Here: Embracing Christ is to see a disciple-making culture develop in our churches in which, by the power of God, we see God-honoring changes in the behavior and lifestyles of the people in our communities.
If you are a senior pastor, consider Find It Here to help your church jump start its discipleship strategy–perhaps nothing you do can impact so many areas of your church, including worship, than working on the discipleship piece. If you aren’t the senior pastor, share this post with your pastor and the information from the Find It Here website.
A key ingredient to great worship is an army of disciples who live out lives of worship day in and day out. Why not do all you can to create such an environment in your church.
Please share any testimonies of how you have seen worship renewed through evidences of discipleship in your church.