Monday, April 21, 2008

A Definite Scriptural Context of Purpose

Every decision we make must be sound with scripture. The leadership of the church is responsible to set the standard in this area. We cannot depend on the majority all the time, nor can we choose to ignore the majority all the time. We must, however, carry out our God-given responsibilities as “men who must give an account to God for our actions and decisions.”

Therefore, we must be personally grounded in scripture as the leaders of the church. We do not need the best business minds of our church involved in the decision-making; we need the most scripturally sound minds of our church filling the gap. We are not to become a really effective business, as many churches have become, but we are supposed to accomplish the purposes laid out for us in the Bible as God empowers us to do so.

Each leader must keep the purposes of the church in mind when discussing ideas with the laity. Remember that these are God-designed purposes for His invention of the church. When we start trying to make something else out of this invention, we abuse God’s gift to us.

A layperson may say, “Why do we always have to sing standing up?”

A leader should respond something like this: “I don’t believe you have to stand at all. It is a suggestion, because worship is, ‘Sacrificing ourselves for the Glory of God.’ When you honor someone, you either stand or bow, so we stand, because it’s hard to sing when you are bowing.” This would show a scriptural understanding of why we do things the way we do, and hopefully put an end to any divisiveness that may have occurred otherwise.

You might also turn the layperson’s attention to John 4, when Jesus said true worshippers of God worship Him in spirit and in truth. This use of scripture to support our actions lovingly educates an obedient follower of Christ and returns an attitude of unity and peace to his heart. Additionally, scripture will foil the desires of a divisive person who thought he could disrupt the unity of the leadership.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why does the church _________________ (You fill in the blank)?” Think about the activities of an average worship service…singing, offering, prayer, communion, sermons, etc. Do you know why we do these things in the context of a Worship Service? Do you think these things are a part of genuine worship? Do you see things in scripture that the church should be doing, but most don’t?

1 comment:

A. Monk said...

Hey Ryan, just stopping by for a neighborly read. I liked the historical touch in, "When you honor someone, you either stand or bow". This is why pews/chairs are foreign to Eastern Orthodox worship. Worshippers stand throughout the entire service, bow at the waist frequently, and prostrate to the ground periodically (especially during Lent). No one sits when the King is present, right? :^) Take care my friend.

Aaron Haney