Both Encouraging and Convicting
I came across this article today and immediately wanted everyone at TCPC to read it – for two reasons.
First, I found it incredibly encouraging. He articulates so well our philosophy of worship. To put it plainly, what we do on Sunday morning is very unnatural for most people, but we are okay with that tension. Every Sunday morning we are inviting our people away from the pervasive consumerism of our world and asking them to imagine a world where they are not at the center – a.k.a. the Kingdom of God. So we are unapologetic in crafting our worship around the preferences of the Kingdom rather than the preferences of the consumer. And I found this article reaffirming in those efforts.
But wait … let’s all back away from the proverbial high horse!
Secondly, I found it incredibly convicting. While it reaffirms our liturgical practices, it also speaks well to one of our failures. We should not make apologies for what we are trying to do on Sunday morning, but at the same time, we MUST be thinking of a way to bridge the chasm between the world as we know it and worship as we know it. To be blunt, worship at TCPC is not natural for most people. That’s okay. Holy worship shouldn’t come natural to fallen man. But the duty of the any church is to discern the culture where God has placed us and creatively imagine how to soften the transition. He uses the analogy of “front porch” and that is a helpful picture. Granted, worship is not the space to fashion according to the likings of culture … but we must have a space like this!
This has individual and corporate implications. How are you individually, and how is TCPC collectively, creating ways to meet the Bluegrass where it is and then, as Jesus has done for us, tenderly, graciously, hospitably, bringing them into a world that takes them beyond their natural instincts – a world embodied within the practices of Sunday morning worship.
So take a few minutes to be encouraged, and be convicted