Last month, I attended the Seminars4Worship event in Lancaster, Pa. It was a pretty good event, especially since I have only attended youth ministry conferences before. There was some good worship and speakers. I was blessed to have about twenty minutes to speak with Brian Doerkson one-on-one. While we spoke, he recommended Mark Labberton’s book Dangerous Worship. Never one to turn down a good book, I snatched it up and have been working through it.
There are many parts that resonate with me in this book and I want to highlight one. In chapter one Labberton writes:
“The privileges of churches like these (growing/expanding churches) can shroud the gospel in such middle and upper class consumer-oriented style and content that salvation sublty becomes more about providing a warm blacket of cultural safety that about stepping out inthe bracing winds of spiritual sacrifice.”
This could describe our church very well. First, let me say that Avenue is a good church, filled with people who strive to live out their faith. We wrestle with the implications of the gospel and how we are to live. But many times I think it’s easier to settle for the ‘blanket of cultural safety” than to really pursue what Scripture asks us to do. It’s easier to send money around the world than to go ourselves. It’s more comfortable to house a food pantry rather than going out to those in need. It’s more comfortable to go through the motions of worship, rather than seeking a real, authentic encounter with the living God.
I want to worship dangerously. I want to pursue God at every moment of the day. I want to lead a life that is abundant and full because I am fully devoted to following God. This is how I desire to worship.