Worship: The Most Important Thing We Do
Last month we were blessed by the Worship Design Studio Workshop led by Dr. Marcia McFee. The workshop was sponsored by the Yadkin Valley District. Dr. Marcia McFee has her PhD in Worship and Ethics and has a ministry based in California. She travels to churches of every denomination all across the nation. We had over 25 persons from our church to participate in the workshops which met at Faith UMC in Rural Hall and Mt. Tabor UMC in Winston-Salem over the weekend of Feb. 3-4, 2017. As an added gift, our church was chosen to receive a free worship consultation by Dr. Marcia McFee. Dr. McFee attended both of our worship services on Feb. 5th and then met with our worship committee for lunch and a consultation that afternoon.
There were many new things that I learned from her workshop. The most important lesson that I heard over the weekend that Marcia kept emphasizing: “Worship is the most important thing we do.” As a pastor for over 25 years, I already knew this. But it took this weekend for God’s truth to sink into my heart. What this means to me is that everything, I mean absolutely everything, we do as a church should bring honor and glory to God. Dr. McFee recommended that we not totally change our worship services, but to “go deeper and higher” with what we are already doing in worship. Worship begins in a called community where hymns are sung, prayers and praises are lifted up, and the power of God’s Word is shared. But then our worship of the Lord ought to be a natural outpouring of God’s love into every place we are sent into the world.
During the next six weeks we will embarking in the season of Lent. Lent is the church season of 40 days of preparation before Easter. It is during these 40 days that we remember Jesus’ 40 days being tempted in the wilderness before he begins his earthly ministry with his disciples. During that time the devil tempted Jesus to take His eyes of His Father in heaven and bow down and worship him. But Jesus responded with God’s Word saying, “It is written, worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.” (Luke 4:8). In other words, Jesus was proclaiming, “worship of the Lord is the most important thing we do.”
During Lent, we will be exploring how we can go “deeper and higher” in our worship of the Lord. It is my greatest hope and prayer that we will grow even more this year in our love and commitment to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. So how will we start? I invite you to begin at the very be-ginning. On Wednesday, March 1st we will be setting apart our hearts for worship in an Ash Wednesday Service from 7:00pm-7:30pm in the sanctuary. Then I invite you to join us each Sun-day for our Lenten Series as we consider what it means to be “Busy or Unbusy? How to ‘Reconnect with an Unhurried God.’” In addition, Rev. Doug Miller and I will also be introducing a Prayer and Healing Service on the last Sunday of the month in both of our congregations. This month it will be held on March 26 at 6:00 pm at Mt. Carmel UMC.
What a beautiful journey we are on, people of God! I can’t wait to see how we will go “deeper and higher” in our worship of the Risen Lord this Easter.