Saturday, February 24, 2018

Passionate Worship

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“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of heavenly forces! My very being longs, even yearns, for the Lord’s courtyards. My heart and my body will rejoice out loud to the living God”! (Psalm 84: 1-2 CEB)

Worship is at the heart of our church; Worship is the primary means for gathering all the people into one Body for the purpose of praising God ~ The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.

We believe that Passionate Worship reflects our desire to love God with all our heart, with all our being, with all our strength, and with all our mind (Luke 10:27 CEB). Passionate Worship is the result of worship leaders committed to offering worship that connects with people’s need to experience God’s presence and by offering their best for God’s service. Passionate Worship is also the result of the passion that the gathered people bring to offer God. Disciples, living out their faith, will experience the life-changing grace of God through their commitment to both personal and social holiness. These disciples bring that experience with them to worship. Together, the leaders and the people can unite in the worship of the Living God, and Passionate Worship is found.

6 Impacts of Worship

We at FUMC commit ourselves to Passionate Worship, and we expect this worship to have 6 Important Impacts on all those present:

  1. We WELCOME all of God’s children: Worship is, for most people, the front door of our church. Worship design and practice must be done with the non-Christian and nominally Christian person in mind. Words to songs, prayers, creeds, responses, and Scripture will be printed or projected in order to encourage participation of all present. Any person desiring to participate, including those new to the congregation or the faith may do so. Worship that anticipates first-time guests is vital part of our practice of Passionate Worship.

  2. We SING God’s praises: “Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth!” (Psalm 100:1 CEB) Singing in a worship setting is one of the most unique things that people do. Very seldom do most people have the opportunity to sing out-loud in public. The voices of the people, lifted up in song, are primary to the experience of being made into one body, united in worshipping God. Passionate Worship through song is vital to encountering God’s presence, uniting as Christ’s body and encourages one another in our faith. We are committed to excellence in music that enables all gathered for worship to lift their praises to God.

  3. We SEE God’s people: In the face of persecution, the writer of Hebrews (Chapter 10) encouraged the church to continue to meet together, to encourage and motivate one another to live in, through, and for God Almighty. Living as a disciple of Jesus Christ can be challenging and we often feel as if we are overwhelmed by the world around us. When Christians gather for worship, we see that we are not alone. The gathered community serves as an inspiration and reminder that through baptism we have been bound together as Christ’s Body and that we are not alone.

  4. We HEAR God’s promise: From the stories of Creation, to the calling of Abraham; from the call of Moses to the leading of the people to the Promised Land; from the beginning to the end of Scripture, God is constantly calling, interacting and guiding humanity towards a vital and lasting relationship with the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. In worship, we hear the promise of God again and again. Through the reading of Scripture, through the songs we sing, through the prayers we pray, and through the sermons we hear, we are reminded that God has been with us in the past, is with us now, and will be with us tomorrow. And, we are reminded of our place in God’s Kingdom through Jesus Christ.

  5. We EXPERIENCE God’s presence: When we come together in worship as a community of faith, we are invited to spend a few, brief moments, “in the present.” Much of our time is spent thinking about the past and things that have happened, or worrying about the future and things that might happen. Worship allows us to live in the present moment and in that moment, we can experience the presence of God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in a unique and powerful way. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am,” said Jesus to his disciples (Matthew 18:20).

  6. We RESPOND to God’s call: The blessing of hearing God’s promises, singing God’s praises, experiencing God’s presence, and seeing God’s people is that we are able to understand God’s will more clearly and know that we are called to be part of accomplishing God’s will in the world, we are called to claim our place in God’s Kingdom. Passionate Worship leads us to a point of affirming our faith in God challenging us and motivating us to take that faith into the world in which we live and be the “salt of the earth,” and the “light of the world.” We are, by God’s grace, partners and co-workers with God in making disciples of Jesus Christ and transforming the world, as we bring God’s Kingdom into our world.