The Work of the People
Here's my worship check list.
1. Prayer - check!
2. Upbeat worship tune - check!
3. Choir number - check!
4. Sermon copy to tech team - check!
5. Alarm set for wake up call - check!
6. Reconciled to my neighbor - STOP!
As a worship pastor, it's easy to become tangled in performing the right song, in the right order so that true worship can take place. I strive for authentic worship weekly. I want to give nothing less than my best to God. Yet I was reminded this week again about the purest form of worship. It is an item on our check list for Sunday morning that
doesn't always have a check mark beside it. Most of the time, it doesn't even make it to our check list at all. Without this item our worship is incomplete. What is it?
Listen to the words of Jesus.
.. . if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
It sounds to me that God will not receive our worship, no matter how well prepared it is, until we have fixed frayed relationships. How often do we come into a time of worship and sing praise to God, give our tithe and listen to his Word with ought against someone? Evidently Jesus thought that it occurs quit often. These words from Jesus himself are not a figure of speech. It's the way life has to be lived. All the worship that you can give God means nothing to him unless you forgive. Forgiveness and worship go hand in hand. We would not even have the right to worship if it were not for God's forgiveness toward us. To say the we can worship and hold a grudge against our
neighbor is to bring ridicule upon ourselves.
This scripture is a strong reminder that worship is not a personal event. Rather, it's a community event. As leaders in worship would should walk this life in front of others. In addition, your worship team should regularly be challenged to evaluate their hearts as preparation for worship. When reconciliation is at the heart of our lives, true worship begins long before Sunday morning rehearsal.
Check off all the elements that make all our worship experiences powerful moments by praying this prayer. (You can also lead your worship team in this prayer)
Prayer: Lord, guide me into the deepest worship possible. I have prepared my flow of worship, rehearsed my music and believe the music will be on the cutting edge. But I want something deeper than a great performance. I desire something more that smooth musical transitions. I want to see Jesus heal and provide miracles in the lives of those around me. I want to be used as an instrument for your glory. Reveal to me any part of me that needs to forgive or be forgiven so that your work in me can continue purely. AMEN.
- Jonathan Trees
Highland Park Church of the Nazarene, Lakeland, FL