The Habit of Worship

I have a mileage tracker feature on my iPhone that reminds me each Sunday morning how many minutes it takes for us to drive to church. It is not an app that I intentionally downloaded, but it came with a recent operating system upgrade. A notification is displayed as my device is synced with the car’s Bluetooth. After getting behind the wheel, I usually prop my phone up in a prominent position on the console. The next time I look at it as I pull out of the garage, I see this reminder on the screen: “18 minutes to 2941 S. Koke Mill Rd.” That is the address of our church, Springfield First. Pretty neat, isn’t it?!

Worship Image Credit: Edward Cisneros
unspash.com

Back in the day, I remember preschool children singing, “I like to go to church. I like to go to church. I like the happy songs we sing. I like to go to church.” As a pastor, I loved to see the happy expressions of joyful anticipation when children entered the church and ran down the hallway to their morning classes each Lord’s Day. However, I also observed that those happy childhood faces often gave way to frowns and less than positive expressions during the teenage years. Sadly, some of those, who were regular in their church attendance as children, dropped out and many did not return!

“Inspirational Worship” is one of the six value statements of our church. We affirm that the best way to carry out our mission of “seeing all generations experience true life change with Jesus” is to worship, grow, serve and go together. This is a biblical strategy. 

In one form or another, all four gospels record a local and global commission of Christ’s disciples. Perhaps the most notable account is found in Matthew’s gospel. After Jesus’ resurrection, He convened a meeting of the eleven disciples in Galilee. This would be the first formal reunion between the Lord and His closest followers since His death on the cross. This momentous meeting evoked an immediate response, “When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”

At this point, Jesus gave what we have come to know as the Great Commission. The directives of the Lord were succinct, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:17-20, NIV).

Together, Jesus and all of His faithful followers throughout history would change the world by fulfilling this strategic commission! When we are together as the people of God, we are never any stronger. Together, we hold each other accountable for spiritual growth and service. Together, we are bold and able to go into a world that can be both receptive and resistant to the gospel. But, together we have a collective cache' of stored up courage! There is strength in numbers!

The writer to the Hebrews reminds us, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25).

If you ever doubt the necessity of regular worship or you occasionally struggle with getting up and out each Sunday morning for in-person worship during these days of wintry weather, try singing or even saying, “I like to go to church” several times. This is sure to adjust any attitude that’s become somewhat “out of joint!” My hope is that by developing the habit of weekly corporate worship that even your phone will know where you need to be on Sunday mornings! 😉

“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” (Psalm 122:1)

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 


 

 

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