August 26, 2009
Sunday worship was an extraordinary experience in corporate worship! We at Trinity are in a time we call “Connect Month” where we encourage everyone to stop and think about priorities and how we are using our time. We borrowed an illustration that states, “If you don’t put the big rocks in first, they won’t fit.” Here’s the short video, Big Rocks First:
Are we deeply connected to the Lord and to his purpose for our lives? Are we connected to our church family and engaged in growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ? Are we joyfully expressing our love for our Lord through serving to advance his Kingdom? Last year I commissioned a video project that would capture all of these things, being a catalyst for worshiping God by rallying around our mission as a church. It was set to the song, “God of this City.” I’m thankful for friend and producer Roy Swedeen who hit a homerun with this one! Here it is:
There is nothing more exciting than being united in the cause of Christ. I felt that excitement Sunday morning as our congregation raised the roof with our songs of praise! The whole service was an extraordinary worship experience because I sensed God’s presence and pleasure both corporately and individually. Our experience of God must be both personal and corporate for he has created us for both. We so easily miss this beautiful convergence, erring on either extreme. We are deeply committed to church, but miss the personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, or we glorify the personal relationship and dismiss the church, saying, “Organized religion is not for me.” Our God is intensely personal, sending his own Son, Jesus, so that all who “receive him, all who believe in his name, gain the right to be called children of God.” (John 1:12 paraphrased) There is nothing more personal that the relationship between and child and his Father! (or so it is meant to be) Jesus also instituted the church because he knew that it was only in the context of human relationships (referred to as the “Body of Christ”) that we would be able to remain faithful as his disciples by carrying on his mission. The illustration the Bible uses is that all the parts of the body make up the body. You may be a hand, I’m a foot, and another is the ear and so on. (Found in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Note that it is followed by 1 Corinthians 13 on love. Love is the lifeblood of the body! I expounded on that in an earlier blog titled, On God’s Family Business.) An amputated limb will eventually die apart from connection to the body and so will the believer who is not in regular fellowship with other members. Worship leaders need to be diligent to create worship services that help people experience both the personal and corporate relationship with God.
After singing “God of this City,” my friend and fellow worship leader Tim Polen led us further in with a highly energized rendition of “Only a God Like You.” (links to songs are through Apple’s iTunes.) Then after a great message by our Senior High Pastor, Shawn Brennan, (The Promise of the Holy Spirit) we took some personal time to respond in prayer with gratitude, confession and supplication. After this personal time, we brought it back to the corporate celebration of our Counselor, Keeper and King, a great worship song, yet unrecorded, by friend and fellow worship leader David Finley.
Yes, it was the sweet convergence of the personal and corporate experience with our Triune God that made our services extraordinary on Sunday! Here’s to more of the same each weekend at Trinity – to God be the glory!