August 2017 

A worship service lasts 60 minutes. Let's say it takes 15 minutes to drive to church and 15 minutes to go back home. Throw in 60 minutes to get ready for church and then to settle in back home and change into your recreation clothes when you return. Church is a 2.5 hour weekly adventure. In our busy schedules that is a lot of time. Isn't it nice to skip church once in a while?

Two important points to remember:
1. God wants us to worship. That is what the Third Commandment is all about. He wants us to find time to praise him, talk to him, grow in his Word, and encourage his people.
2. Worship is to be a "positive" in our schedule. King David said, "I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the LORD.'" (Psalm 122:1).

On the worship side, I work with our worship team to assure that each service provides an opportunity to praise God, pray to God, learn from God, and encourage each others.

On the worshippers' side, it requires our respect of God's desire for us to worship and an attitude that sees worship as the priority God wants it to be.

Now -- an analysis: On the worship side, sometimes hymns drag; sometimes the sermon seems detached from reality; sometimes the readings don't connect; sometimes people seem unfriendly. When that happens it is on the the worship team.

On the worshippers' side, sometimes we treat God's call for us to worship as a suggestion or afterthought. Sometimes we don't come in with the zeal of David and the desire to be in church. When that happens it is on us as worshippers.

The service is supposed to be a dialogical experience. God talks to us; we respond. In song and prayer we interact with God and in fellowship we interact with each other. As a worship team we look for ways to break down barriers to getting this done. As a worshipper, each of us needs to ask ourselves about the priority God has in our life -- both in what he wishes and how we show gratitude.

This is a two-sided relationship. I promise we will keep working on our side of this relationship. Consider how you might also work on your side of the relationship. Evaluate the priorities in your life.

It might be nice to skip church to work on a project, go on vacaiton, or just sleep in. Evaluate how that reality meshes with God's calling for us to worship and enccourage each other. If we miss church without feeling that we have missed something, then it calls for serious soul-searching. Remember that the flesh is in constant war against the will of God. Don't surrender so easily.

~ Pastor Robert Fleischmann

In his great mercy God has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. ~ I Peter 1:3