Monday, October 4, 2010

Corporate worship & God's presence

One of the most solemn and at the same time difficult tasks that many church leaders who are before a congregation on a regular basis face and perhaps it's not mentioned often enough is the aspect of 'bringing others into the presence of God' or 'ushering others into God's presence', or however you would like to phrase it.  The focus in this post is corporate worship.

I will admit 'ushering/bringing others into God's presence' is a loaded statement and for that matter a loaded task. Can we really 'bring' or 'usher' people into God's presence? I would venture to say that unless they want to be brought or ushered in, this won't happen. One would assume that if they're in a worship setting (like church) this is what most want from the experience. Yet even if that is so, people have different ways of thinking and understanding how to come before God which makes the issue of how to 'bring' or 'usher' people before God all the more daunting.

Churches will discuss (sadly to say at times argue) over issues of order of service, music, how long, or even how short a service should be to name just a few of the more discussed items. Though churches must have this 'discussion' one thing needs to be kept in mind and that is we want to above all things have an environment in which people can experience the presence of God within the 'church service.'

Along with what has already been said, one must also realize that as one comes before God in their respective congregations regardless of what 'style' it may be. One of the main points of coming together (if not the main) is to respond to what God has done, is doing, and will do in each one of our lives. To give Him all worship and praise as we participate in the worship experience through song, prayer, giving, and the preaching of the word which in itself should bring the congregation to some kind of a response to God in their lives.

Therefore when we come together in our places of worship as people who claim to be followers of Jesus, this is NOT just another weekend event, or 'thing we do' for God. You see here's perhaps something to evaluate: maybe it's not so much about being led into God's presence as a congregation because God is already there, but it's about if we will bring ourselves into God's presence as individuals within the corporate worship and respond to His working in our lives in praise and adoration.

So what do you think: how have you experienced the presence of God in corporate worship? How many times have you attended a worship service and not experienced God in any way? Why did you or did you not experience the presence of God?



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