What are you expecting from our worship service and the people here?
When you come on Sunday mornings to our church, what are you expecting? Local religious themed entertainment? Sing some songs, hopefully in your favorite style. Listen to some advertisements, … oops I mean announcements. Throw a few bucks in the plate. Listen to a lecture that is hopefully not too boring. Make some light chit chat and then go home and do it again next week. Is that all?
Or… are you expecting a Life Transforming Encounter with the Living God, with unique opportunities to grow in relationships with other God lovers and show your love for him and others?
What is God expecting? What is God hoping to see? We see the answers all through the scriptures including the following …
John 4:30 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”
Matt 22:37-38 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 28:19-20 Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.
How are we doing with that as a church? How are you doing as a follower?
If you are not coming to church expecting to meet with God and be changed, we are not doing our job and you aren’t a part of what God wants for you. If you are not coming to church hoping to be able to deepen not just your relationship with Him, but with a whole community of other believers, you are missing out. If you aren’t expecting for God to give you the high honor of serving His Kingdom, impacting a world desperately in need of His love, then you have come to the wrong place.
We all need fellow disciples to share the journey with. We all need to be discipled by someone, someone to look up to and learn from, submit to and be accountable to. We should all be inviting someone younger in the faith to follow us and be our disciples. Otherwise, we are lacking the community and growth opportunities God wants us to have and are not fulfilling the calling and commission we have been given.
Let’s explore these general questions with some more detailed ones so you can see if you are growing up or not.
Are you encountering the Living God? Are you being transformed?
Are you exhibiting more and more the fruit of the Spirit, the character of Jesus and his followers: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control?
Are you thinking more and more like Jesus? Do you know more about God now than a year ago? Do you understand more about who He made you to be and what your role is than before? Are you loving him with all of your mind?
Are you more emotionally engaged with God than before? Has He captured your passion and affections so you care more and more about Him and His will and opinion than anyone else’s? Is it easier for you to weep with the weeping and rejoice with those who are rejoicing? Are your attitudes changing? Are you experiencing increased freedom and healing from wounds and bonds of your past? Are you loving God with all of your heart?
Is your behavior changing? Are you more engaged in serving him and others than before? Are you praying more? Are you more physically engaged than before in worship? Singing louder and more passionately, raising your hands, clapping, kneeling, showing reverence, … Are you loving God with all of your strength?
Are you more and more a part of His family?
Here are some questions to help you find out: List NAMES of REAL PEOPLE for yourself!
Who is discipling you? Who do you look up to and are you submitting to and allowing to speak truth and encouragement into your life? Do you have some spiritual parents?
Who are your fellow disciples? People you are sharing the journey with? Who are your closest spiritual brothers and sisters?
Who are you discipling? Who are your spiritual children?
Are you ASKING God to help you find these kinds of relationships and help you to grow in them?
Are you serving? Is God using you to impact the world and bring His Kingdom to earth?
Do you care about others? Are you praying for them?
Do you have more of a heart for the poor and hurting than before?
When is the last time you invited someone to church?
Are you looking for opportunities to share Jesus with people you come into contact with?
Are you giving $ to God’s work?
Do you know what God has gifted you to do?
Are you spending your time and energy and talents to serve the church and reach the lost and hurting? How?
I sure hope these questions make you think a little bit about what Church is all about and what God wants from you.
Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (NLT)
A guest post by Jason Chollar. Thanks for permission to use.