In the previous blog post, I mentioned that it was my desire to being unpacking the vision I believe God has placed in my heart for the worship ministry here at Hannaford. I wanted to go beyond just sharing this with the worship team because worship is actually one of the primary elements of our mission statement, which is “Worship, Grow, and Share”.
Worship is first in that line-up because it is our primary purpose as God’s creations and Christ-followers. Col. 1:16 says, “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Notice that verse says we were created in, through, and for Him (Jesus). That means we were meant to have intimate fellowship with Him, that relationship happens thru our worship of and faith in Him, and reveals that we are not our own, but that we were created for His pleasure and purposes. It’s all about Him!
One day when we finally arrive in heaven that will become the central reality. Right now, we get glimpses, have moments, and see the foreshadowing of what will be, but in heaven Jesus will be the focus of our attention forever. As difficult as it can be to focus in our worship services or even our daily lives, it’s hard to imagine never being distracted for all eternity. I think we can have a slice of heaven right now and can begin rehearsing for that great day while we’re here on earth. That’s the heart of my vision for our church in worship.
The burning coals God has placed in my spirit for myself and for Hannaford are:
-Now is the time to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23)
We are living in “the last days” before Jesus’ return and in the last days there is urgency, miracles and unexplainable visions and dreams, and power poured out by the Holy Spirit to the church (you and me) to carry out Jesus’ commission.
Our worship can be a witness to unbelievers and can cause them to experience and worship God too (1 Cor. 14:22-25)
When God’s people are genuinely following and worshiping Him in all aspects of life unsaved people notice. If they happen to come or are invited to our corporate gatherings, they will experience God in a tangible way, be convicted of sin, and realize their need for Him.
-Worshiping on earth as we will in heaven (going deeper into the river during individual and corporate worship times) Ez. 47, Rev. 4:6, 15:2, 7:9-10, and 14:3
When I read those passages I am reminded that we are meant for so much more than we realize as God’s children. God created man for an intimate and deep relationship with Him, so our personal and corporate worship times are opportunities for us to engage in and even be swallowed in the depths of His intentions for that relationship. Ezekiel explains it as a river that can’t be crossed…where miraculous things are happening and renewal is taking place. John in Revelation is trying to explain the sheer enormity and diversity of the crowd in heaven, their singular focus on the Lamb, and the intensity of their unending praises.
I will dive a little deeper in the next blog about how I see these things playing out in our individual lives and corporate gatherings, but for now, I encourage you to join me in praying for revival. Much of this is scary and unchartered water for us and new things can cause us to be fearful. What we need to take to heart is that fear doesn’t come from God. His desire for us to have life and have it abundantly now as well as in heaven. He longs to show us more and take us deeper, we just have to get out of the boat and walk on the water with Him…. we need to pray and ask for more!
Grace be with you,