Friday, October 22, 2010

Why attend a "WORSHIP" service

There has been a good discussion about Lutheran Evangelism and the distinctiveness (or not) of Lutheran worship services over at Idle Ramblings. I posted this comment which I'm reposting here.

PS says: Just re-edited to fix a few phrases that were left out. I had major problems with editing this post this morning and I didn't find the problems until it came through in my email.

Perhaps we need to directly address the concept of WORSHIP with other people in the pews: Tell them directly what Sunday Morning is all about. We are there to worship, not to be entertained. "Special Music" should be chosen with that in mind, for example. We can worship with our heads even though our hearts are not in it. Worship takes some discipline. It doesn't need to be dreary, but it might take some work, especially on those Sundays when we feel our lives crashing down around us. We can be to taught that an emotional reaction can be worshipful in the proper context and mood, but that key changes to heighten the emotions of the crowd are not necessarily true worship (as I read about somewhere recently.) We can be teaching that attending worship each week is a discipline that is worthy of following, as compared to deciding each Sunday morning "just how we feel" about attending. I learned way back in 1972 about making the commitment to attend worship each week, rather than deciding each Sunday morning if I "feel" like attending. I've also learned that on those occasions when I don't "feel" like attending but I make myself go to church, I usually find something in the service that speaks to me directly.

All that said, it still IS great to also be FED on a Sunday morning during the worship service. I am fed by the scripture readings, the sermon, and the communion elements. The hymns can help me express my gratitude to God while they teach me about God's greatness and grace. Lutheran worship is participatory worship, which we don't get if we are just watching a TV service or attending an entertainment type worship.

We live in a time when people assume that they have to "feel good" all the time or what they are doing isn't worth their time and money. Jesus' message wasn't all about feeling good; some of what He preached could make us feel bad if we follow it completely. But He also brought a message of hope and salvation that will carry us through the long haul and THAT is why we worship on Sunday morning.


  1. This quote fits this topic:

  2. It's amazing that the youngest people understand the difference between 'worship' and going to church better than some of us who have claimed our religion the longest.

    I ask my daughter(3) though, "why are we going to church?" and she says 'to worship!'


And what do you think?