As I approach the one year anniversary of stepping down as Pastor of Discovery Christian Church I am reminded of the Johnny Cash song “I’ve Been Everywhere.” Jan and I have worshiped with a variety of churches across the country in Tennessee, Texas, and California. I have preached as a guest in several churches ranging from a cathedral where I wore a robe to a rented classroom where worshipers sat in chairs behind tables. Admittedly I have missed two Sundays—one when I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed and one when we were traveling and couldn’t.
People go to church to worship the Lord, hear His Word, and spend time with His people. We were in churches with thousands and churches with under 30 and all sizes in between. There were a variety of styles of worship, and Jan and I were able to truly worship every place we have been. We discovered we could do that regardless of the setting, the style of music, or the preacher. Our worship has been enriched by the variety. But there were a few things I have been thinking about with regard to my own preferences.
Some worship leaders think you have to be standing to worship through singing. I love worship singing even when I am not singing, but standing the whole time doesn’t contribute to my worship. After standing for a song or two my preference would be to sit down and sing and stand again later. And all the songs don’t have to be loud and upbeat. We can worship meaningfully with a quieter and slower song—preferably sitting down.
Some pastors think they have to preach longer and say more than as a worshiper I want. I want significant Bible teaching applied to my life, but I don’t want to sit and listen for more than 40 minutes and would prefer around 30 minutes. Some Bible teachers try to cover too much material or in their teaching keep repeating themselves. It’s better to quit with the people wanting more than to go on and on with people wondering when it will be over.
Refreshments after worship add to the time of fellowship for those who are interested and enjoy them, but not everyone is interested in hanging around. Some people have plans and others simply do not like to eat what is provided or particularly want to talk. Invite worshipers to stay and eat, but don’t twist any arms as it may be counterproductive.
It has been a great 51 weeks for us and we have enjoyed everywhere we have been. We look forward with great anticipation to what the Lord has in store for us this next year in terms of where we worship and where I will be privileged to “guest preach.” And I’ll be fine if we stand the whole time we sing, if the pastor preaches for 40 minutes or more, and even if we are pressed to stay for donuts!
If you think others would enjoy this post share it and I welcome comments below.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/34444521@N03/5066198402″>cash2</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>
I remember when you probably would’ve worshipped for hours for Pepsi and Rolo’s though…LOL. Hard to belive it’s almost been a year. Prayers for many blessings for the year to come.
Thanks Linda. Unfortunately I don’t eat many Rollos anymore, but I do drink Diet Pepsi!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I can’t believe it’s already been a year since you stepped down! I cant wait to see you Sunday 😊
Still in awe over you and thank you for many years of leadership @ Discovery. You are loved by so many; may God continue to bless you and Jan and bless others thru you both!
Thanks Jayme for your affirming words.
Welcome to the blog world, Bob. I have been here for a while.
Thanks for your thoughts on worshiping anywhere.
I am fortunate to be in a position where I have a LOT of non-Christians around me a LOT of the time. And I do my utmost for his Highest. But there is no church I feel comfortable to invite people to. Certainly not where I worship. The preachers rotate … one is good, the other is young and the 3rd and 4th are females. They do okay, too … but … something is lacking.
The songs are mindless and repetitive. I find myself counting the phrases… same 3-word phrase 37 times! Really. Jesus’ warning about prayers come to mind.
I may be, or perhaps have been starving for friendship, fellowship and expository preaching for far too long. It’s simply not to be found in my area.
And and … it’s good to have you in the blog world. My best to Jan, too.