I’ve been continuing the book I began reading a while back called The Dangerous Act of Worship by Mark Labberton. It is a challenging look at worship in the American church and how what we do on Sunday morning is often detached from acts of justice and mercy.
Labberton writes that there is no right style of worship. It’s not about traditional, contemporary, modern, post-modern, or emergent worship. These are all just forms to fulfill a function. The function is the worship of God the Creator which is done throughout our week.
“Everytime we meet in corporate worship, whether in our Gothic sanctuaries, our industrial park warehouses or wherever we gather to worship while violence, suffering and injustice don’t imss a beat. Worship leaders especially may want to focus only on what seems cultuarlly and socially immediate. But if we ar coming to worship the Lord of all creation, the Savior of the world, then while we are setting up and checking the sound sytem or pondering prayers or sermons, we have to hold on to a wider vision of God’s love, a set of very different circumstances and an outcome of our worship that is meant to land is in places of need.”
Our church has been discussing why some churches grow and others don’t. We have a few churches within three blocks of Avenue that are dying congregations while we continue to grow. I think it comes down to our passion for God, and our passion for his people. We (Avenue) began to grow when we started to develop a broader understanding of God’s love and began to live in that love by serving others. This is not meant to be a how-to, but we have found that people want to be involved in a church that is taking part of something bigger than life. When we participate in God’s work, that transcends our everyday lives as something bigger.