les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mission exists because worship doesn't

There's a little discussion brewing in my heart at present, centred on this wonderful soundbite and the possible ways in which we misinterpret it and misapply it.

It has to do with how we read and understand the word "worship".

Many years ago when I was a handsome, young pastor in North Wales some cheeky people put forth the proposition that Christians do not gather to worship. (Even to recollect this now seems quite amazing, in our context.) Christians meet, they said, to encourage each other. They then part to worship God in their daily lives because in the New Testament the whole of life is worship.

Now we find ourselves in 2015, and I am have become a wizened, old pastor in Southern France. Virtually every church in our city organises it's Sunday meetings into "Louange" and "Enseignement". The time of Worship and the teaching. I imagine this is the case in other countries, too.

Those of us of a crusty, old, reformation-heritage character will sometimes say "but listening to God's word is surely worship", and of course, this is true. But sadly, because of the way we use the word worship, or louange, or "time of worship", etc... we can give ourselves the following impression (forgive the simultaneous equations / syllogism)

A. Mission exists because worship doesn't.

B. Worship is singing songs to God with a band for half-an-hour before someone speaks.

Therefore

C. Mission exists because people don't sing songs to God with a band...

Do people really think like that?

Yes, I believe they do. This is why I think that.

When we lose the perspective on worshipping God together we produce "Christians" who are entirely horizontal, who have no ongoing relationship with God, who never pray, never meditate on his word and think that being a Christian is only about applying through the week what they hear on Sunday.

Know anyone like that?

When we lose the perspective on worshipping God in your daily conduct, we produce "Christians" who are entirely vertical, who are lost in wonder, love and praise on Sunday and who are amazed at his word and who adore him in prayer, but who do not grow in holiness and good works and who frankly don't see the need.

Know anyone like that?

By God's grace we can avoid swinging to extremes, we can keep our focus on worshipping God together with heartfelt humble praise AND live for him and walk with him every moment of every day.

We ought to do the one without neglecting the other. And mission exists because worship (in both senses) doesn't.

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