Who are worship services for?
That question has been floating around Christian church conversations recently. I read one thing and I think they’re for believers. I listen to something else and I think they’re for seekers. I read Scripture and I can see where people base their arguments for one side or the other.
But, for the time being I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t have to be an either/or. It can be a both/and. And I think it should be. I think most churches want to pick one or the other because that makes planning worship and writing sermons a whole lot easier. Intentionally planning worship and sermons that draw in and edify both groups is difficult! But I think it’s something we need to strive for because we are called to share the Gospel with all people and to make disciples. That whole making disciples part is an ongoing process. In order to fulfill that mission God has given us I think we have to have worship services that are created for both believers and seekers.
How do we do this? Well, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure. I have some ideas, but I’m still trying to figure it out. I do know we can’t hide who we are as a church. We have to be authentic. We have to be open and up front about our theology. We can’t be worried about offending people with the Gospel – it is offensive to those who don’t believe it. We have to go deep with the message but also leave room for questions – give people a reason to go even deeper on their own to the level they’re at on their journey of faith. When we go deep and use “pastor talk” we have to teach it. We have to guide people to a deeper understanding of what is not “pastor talk” but really Bible language. We have to remember that seekers are in a foreign land and we need to help guide them through. We also have to remember that no matter how many times the believer has been in the land their is always something new to learn from may seem like the “basics.”
We also can’t expect worship to be the only thing we do, the only way we feed people spiritually. We have to create other environments that are more tailored for one group or another. Environments which allow us to be even more intentional about discipleship.
And then I get to the end of all this thinking about who worship is for and I think to myself, is worship really for anyone? Or is it for God? Do we come to worship for God to serve us? Or do we come to worship in order to serve God?
Clearly this conversation isn’t over. Thoughts?