How We Worshipped

I recently shared an example of how we worshipped one Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church. Quite a few people seemed to appreciate that example of a worship service and asked me to share more. I will be glad to do so from time to time. Here is how we worshipped one Sunday just a few weeks ago. This service’s cast of characters included Paul as the preacher and lead worshipper and myself as service leader. Thushara read the Bible. The …

Prioritize Your Church

A few years ago, Aileen and I walked into a gym for the very first time. We were unfit, we were determined to do something about it, and we had an inkling that a gym was the place to go. We spoke to the club’s manager, arranged an appointment, and groaned our way through an hour-long assessment. He then assigned a trainer, who assured us he would help us melt away a few pounds and put on a bit of …

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How We Worshipped

The Bible instructs us in how we must worship God and tells us what elements we must include in our worship services. Yet it still allows a lot of leeway for us to interpret those elements to our culture and context. I thought it might be fun to share from time to time the liturgy (i.e. “order”) of some of our worship services. I know how much I have benefitted from attending other churches and learning how they structure their services. …

A 93-Million-Mile Love

Christians are called to love. We know this. We’ve been loved by God so we can love in return. We display proof of our salvation when we stop living self-focused lives and begin living others-focused lives. We show our love and appreciation for God in the way we turn our love outward to become “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). We are accustomed to thinking about this as individuals, and we know our local churches are meant to be communities …

Eliminating the Human

Musician David Byrne recently advanced an interesting theory about humanity and technology. The overarching agenda of technology, he believes, is intended to eliminate human interaction. The displacement of human beings by modern technology has become so obvious and so widespread that he has been forced to conclude it is more than an unintentional byproduct of increased automation. “What much of this technology seems to have in common is that it removes the need to deal with humans directly. The tech …

You, Yes You, Are a Minister!

Sometimes God’s truth goes into your life like a quiet whisper. Sometimes it goes in like a hand grenade. Have you had one of those times? One day you hear a sermon, or you have a conversation with a fellow church member, or maybe a friend confronts you with a sin they’ve seen in your life, and in a moment it’s like something inside has exploded. You suddenly see a sin you’ve never identified before, or you see an area …

The Whole Christian Life Every Sunday

A well-planned worship service is a tremendous blessing to those who participate in it. A well-planned service is not necessarily one in which the projector never flickers and the microphones never buzz, or one in which the transitions are smooth and the sermon doesn’t go long. Rather, a well-planned service is one whose elements have been carefully planned to fulfill God’s purposes for the public gatherings of his church. How, then, do we plan our services? What elements should a …

2 Ways To Look at the People in Your Church

It is a display of God’s wisdom that he binds us together in local church communities. We know it is a mark of his wisdom, yet sometimes it can feel so much like folly. Sometimes we grow weary of being around people who are sinful, who are selfish, who still have so far to go. In other words, sometimes we grow weary of being around people who are just like us. At times like these, we can benefit from a …

The Hottest Thing at Church Today

According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee at the cafe. The hottest thing at church today is the preaching. Not only is it the preaching, but a very specific form of it—preaching based on the Bible. And just like that, decades of church …

The Worst Consequence of Skipping Church

We are a culture of convenience, of personalization, of individualism. We have a million ways of customizing our lives to perfectly suit our every preference. When things are difficult, we think little of pulling away from responsibilities, of reorienting our lives away from whatever causes inconvenience. This can even extend to something as good and as central as our commitment to the local church. All of us who are involved in local churches have seen people waver and wander in …