By God's grace, our first two services have been great! Great crowds have gathered at Springstep, and more importantly, we have experienced great worship together through singing, praying and responding to God's Word. With the final installment in our Worship Together series, I want to offer several more considerations on the value of corporate worship.
7) Corporate worship is the place where the ordinances of baptism and communion are practiced. Jesus instituted two distinct practices for his followers to engage in as a community. First, he commanded that new believers be baptized in order to profess their faith as an outward expression of the inward reality of new life through Christ. Second, on the night before he was crucified, Jesus told his disciples to remember his sacrificial death by partaking of bread and wine which represent his broken body and shed blood on behalf of the people of God. We practice communion monthly and will practice baptism regularly at RHC.
8) Corporate worship displays the unity of the church. When we worship on Sundays, we sing together, pray together, hear the Word read and preached together, give together, and have opportunities to interact with one another. We also have opportunity to encourage one another, serve one another, and love one another as "the body of Christ."
9) Corporate worship provides opportunity to encounter God. To be sure, God is not confined to our agenda. As the all-knowing and ever-present God, he does "whatever he pleases" whenever he pleases (Ps. 115:3). At the same time, God delights to reveal himself as his people praise him and as his Scripture is opened. God has performed his gracious work in my life through a variety of contexts, but over and over again, he has chosen the context of corporate worship to be the venue for some of his most transformative work.
10) Corporate worship serves as catalyst for missional living. God desires for his people to be a light to those around them. The constant refrain of the Old and New Testaments when it comes to the purposes of God in bringing salvation to his people is this: they are blessed to be a blessing. It is not enough for God's people to be filled with encouragement and joy in God during worship. We must then be ready to be poured out in service to others. We must take the love that we receive and give it away. We must take the mercy and grace and forgiveness we receive and give it away for the sake of others.
There are so many reasons why Christians should gather together to respond to the greatness of God in Jesus Christ. We hope that you will join us at one of our services soon!!