Blog Posts on Corporate Worship

Serving Appetizers: Worship Services That Keep Their Promises

Matthew Westerholm
Serving Appetizers: Worship Services That Keep Their Promises

As a worship pastor, I am saddened to read polls reporting young people leaving our churches. True, this happens in each generation (remember the Boomer-angs who returned to church in the 1990s?), but how can service planners encourage the continued participation of young people within our churches?

One of the regular ways churches respond is to adopt a more contemporary style of music. But if you know two different teenagers, you recognize the... Continue Reading

How Do You Prepare for Sunday?

Jordan Kauflin
How Do You Prepare for Sunday?

A couple weeks ago, my wife and I went out to eat on a date. On a whim, we decided to go see a movie as well. Just like that. No preparation, we just decided and went. The lack of preparation had absolutely no bearing on how much we enjoyed the movie. After all, we just wanted to be entertained.

Unfortunately, we can often approach the Sunday meeting in a similar way.

How do you prepare to gather with your church family? Is your preparation limited to the frenetic collecting of... Continue Reading

Idolatry in Corporate Worship

Bob Kauflin
Idolatry in Corporate Worship

What’s your greatest hindrance to worshiping God as you gather with the church for corporate worship?

I can think of a number of possible answers: Our song leader isn’t very experienced. The liturgy is too stifling. The band sounds bad. The preacher is uninspiring. Our church is too small. Or, Our church is too big.

While I don’t want to minimize the importance of faithful planning, musical skill, and wise leadership, our greatest problem when it comes to worshiping God doesn’t... Continue Reading

Meeting with God

Pat Sczebel
Meeting with God

It is Saturday night, and my wife and I are just about to tuck our second batch of kids into bed. Yup, that’s right, our birth children are all grown up now, and for some crazy reason, we’ve adopted three more and are fostering a baby. This now gives us the privilege of repeating to our younger kids (ages twelve, ten, nine, and one) much of what we taught our older kids about the joy of gathering Sunday mornings as a church.

This past week I asked them to give me a name of someone they... Continue Reading

Our Holy, Stubborn Song

Gloria Furman
Our Holy, Stubborn Song

There’s something stubborn about singing praise to God.

We live in a fallen world. Things are not as they ought to be. How can our mouths be filled with praise in the midst of so much darkness?

Yet we sing.

We sing because we once followed the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), but now the King has died for us and delivered us from the present evil age (Galatians 1:4).

We sing because “we know that we are from God,” even though “the whole world lies in the power of the evil... Continue Reading

Why We Shouldn’t Neglect to Meet Together

Jon Bloom
Why We Shouldn’t Neglect to Meet Together

Have you ever thought of this simply stunning statement by God as a reason why we are to gather together in corporate worship?

It is not good that the man should be alone. (Genesis 2:18)

What’s so incredible about this is that God said it before the fall, when Adam’s heart was undimmed by the dark night of sin and he enjoyed unbroken fellowship with his Creator.

What was not good about Adam’s experience? He had unimpeded communion with God. He had no God-shaped hole... Continue Reading

Worship That’s Out of This World

Marshall Segal

The gospel all at once puts us at home in every culture and at odds with every culture.

Christ wants to and will make his home in every culture on the planet. This faith is not restrained to Jews, and certainly not to Americans. No, our God intends to be worshipped and enjoyed among every ethnicity and in every language across the globe. So Christianity can be at home in every culture.

And Christ is and will be rejected in every culture. Faith in the gospel will immediately... Continue Reading

Is the Preaching Any Good?

Jonathan Parnell
Is the Preaching Any Good?

One of the most fundamental truths to understand about the church’s corporate gathering is that Jesus is a giver.

Jesus, our Savior and salvation — the one to whom we are united by faith — gave himself to us by becoming like us. He then gave himself to us by dying in our place. And still today, every week when the church meets, he gives himself to us through the preaching of his word and the sharing of his Supper.

This matters because, as surely as we have received him as the... Continue Reading

When Hearts Are Tuned to Worship

Matt Boswell
When Hearts Are Tuned to Worship

I can almost hear the bells of our church steeple still ringing in my ear.

Every Sunday morning as a child church bells would echo through our town. From our steeple tower, a proclamation would sound to all who could hear that God was summoning his people to worship.

The walk from the back door of the parsonage to the church sanctuary took less than a minute at a ten-year-old stride. As the pastor, my dad would wake up early, marching that same path in the dark. He would... Continue Reading

Don’t Go to Church to Give

Jonathan Parnell
Don’t Go to Church to Give

Today, millions of Christians will gather to worship Jesus. Each gathering, as its own mosaic of souls, will meet at its own place and time. I hope you will be at one, somewhere, and I hope you go there to get, not give.

That is right. Go to church to get. Don’t go to give. Banish the slightest idea in your head that you are going to a corporate worship service because you have something to offer God. He isn’t served like that, as though he needed anything, since he’s the one who... Continue Reading