May 19, 2019 | Rev. Gina Anderson-Cloud
What do you have control of when you approach God for worship? In corporate worship, you generally cannot select the hymns or sermon text or direct the way the pastor or liturgist prays. However, you are in charge of you. You can set the tone of your heart, the focus of your mind, and ultimately your reverent approach to God’s holiness.
Today’s topic is power. What stands between you and powerful, awe-inspiring worship? What is within your control to direct, manage and focus that you might connect with God in transformative ways?
Recall a memory in which you most thoroughly experienced the presence and power of God in worship. What can you learn from that encounter that might help you shape things within your control when worshiping and ultimately shape those around you, as God’s Spirit is revealed through you? May the power of God lead you to deeper encounters each time you worship.
Recently, a church researcher surveyed churchgoing Christians with this question: “Have you ever experienced God in a worship service?” In the findings, only one-third responded that they regularly experience God in church. William Hendrix in his work entitled Exit Interviews delves into why there seems to be a generation leaving church over the last few decades. Part of what he suggests is that worship is not meaningful to a lot of church-goers. He also suggests, as do others, that some of the problem is not in what our church staff, volunteers and/or pastors offer during worship, but that the problem of feeling like God experiences are rare is more about our individual way of approaching God through the ancient traditions of worship, as well as within the new iterations of worship we find in church today. The problem is not so much “the church,” but us. Is God pleased with how you approach worship?
Rick Ezell writes: “We desperately need a life-changing glimpse of the greatness, the awesomeness, the wonder, the power, the mercy, the goodness and loving kindness of God.” This new series for May hopes to ask questions of us and give resources that help us please God as we encounter the Holy in our worshipping life.
Our current series offers us an opportunity to look at what God might find pleasing in a worshipful life in and through the church. To do this, we will focus on 4 P’s – Presence, Preparation, Power and Protocol.