Is it Time to Turn the Tables on Corporate Worship?

What would happen if instead of coming to church to get ‘fuelled up’, we brought our offering of praise and thanksgiving – the result of daily personal communion with God – into the House of God?

Growing up in the church through the 80’s and 90’s there was an accepted idea that we went to church to get ‘filled up’ – filled up with God, filled with the Spirit, and fuelled with inspiration from the worship, the preaching and the people we are doing life with.

It was all about getting yourself topped up to face the week ahead.

I always (and still sometimes do) felt like I came screeching into the Sunday service on an empty tank, leaving filled with gusto but also with a sense of ‘just gotta make it through another week’ in the back of my mind.

Come all who are weary, and I will give you rest.

Come and be filled with God; come and bring the week that’s been with all its challenges and give it to Him.

Man, have I come weary. Many times. And God is always gracious to provide, just as He promises He will.

But what if it’s not this way around?

What if, in fact, Sunday (or whichever day church community is for you) is the day we bring the fulfillment of our personal daily communion with God into the church family?

What if we came in filled up and ready to deposit the wisdom, grace, mercy, understanding, patience, compassion, and healing we’ve experienced that week?

What might church look like?

I believe we have a personal responsibility to have a relationship with God – where seeking him daily and being intentional about everything that this involves – brings depth and revelation into my relationship with Him (and in turn, my relationship with others).

If this is the case my actions are what precipitate personal growth, inner healing, and a deepening reliance on God for all my needs.

‘If you seek Me, you will find Me’ – seems like the onus is on me …

What would it look like if we, as everyday Christians, took what we’ve learned and gained during the week into the church with the express purpose of giving it to others who might benefit from it?

We could give grace that’s come from being given grace.

We could choose to listen with unhurried compassion to another’s burden instead of seek solace for our own.

We could share our testimony from the week, inspiring our friends to share theirs and ‘build each other up in the faith’.

If we took this idea of intentionally bringing an offering of praise and thanksgiving, that stems from a healthy relationship with God through our week and came into corporate worship with a specific focus we might just give into the church community from the wealth of what we have been given. Our personal journey and the inevitable battles that ensue might just be the inspiration another needs …

As a Christian in a free-speaking country, I can walk into places of worship and freely express my relationship with God and others. It is a privilege to have this, so I have the option to focus on what I need or on what I can give.

So, what might my experience of church be like?

What might happen to my church family relationships?

What would my worship be like?

And what transformation might take place in my heart as I turn the tables on the way I grew up?

I don’t have the answers; just more questions, really, but it does make me ponder how much more we could be experiencing in our personal and corporate church life.

Maybe it’s time to start questioning the preconceived notions and accepted attitudes we grew up with and really reflect on their relevancy, Biblical accuracy, and the spiritual maturity that we all long to see in our daily lives.

Photo credit nathan-mullet-pmiW630yDPE-unsplash

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