Tag Archives: Worship

(September 8, 2019) “Ambitious church: worship”

from Psalm 96

What is worship? Is it just singing? Is there a right way to worship? Does our worship truly matter? Does it accomplish anything?

What if worship became more than what we participated in, or what we try to stir up within us…what if worship became our response to God’s faithfulness…to God’s goodness?

Not only do we find throughout Scripture that worship is simply not optional, we begin to see that its true power if found when it happens in the context of community.

w/ Vern Collins

*Try reading Psalm 103 each morning this week, focusing on God’s faithfulness and the grace offered you each day, and see how worship might begin to come as a response.

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Our Ambitious Prayer for the church (adapted from Jonathan Leeman’s “18 Things to Pray for Your Church”)

Heavenly Father, as we seek to be a church that reflects the hope of Your Son, Jesus in this world, our prayer for this church is…
That it would grow in being distinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders.
That faithful elders would use Scripture to train members to do the work of ministry.
That a hunger for studying the Gospel would form among members so that they can guide and guard one another in it.
That a culture of discipling would form in which making disciples is viewed as an ordinary part of the Christian life.
That adult members work to disciple children and teenagers and not just leave the journey of discipleship to programming.
That the church’s songs would teach members to biblically confess, lament, and praise.

It is with the help of the Holy Spirit and in the Name of Jesus we ask these things, Amen.


“Framework for Faithfulness: Christ at the Center” (September 23, 2018)

from Luke 10:38-42

We are conditioned, many of us, to compartmentalize our lives as a means of surviving the pace at which we tend to operate.  We can call it self-preservation, and while it might help us feel like we are keeping our heads above water, when that mentality creeps into our spiritual life it becomes dangerous.

Without realizing it, it means that define what is at the center of our lives by determining what Christ can touch and what He must leave alone.  We set aside time to connect with Him, and often in doing so, try to decide the parts of us that He gets to connect with.

What if everything we do is meant to be an act of worship, and act of placing and keeping Christ at the center of who we are?

w/ Vern Collins

“Framework for Faithfulness: Values” (September 9, 2018)

from Daniel 3:1-18

What drives your decisions?  What determines the way you spend your time, your resources, your energy, the things you pursue?  Follow the trail of those things and you’re not too far off from being able to determine what you value most.

If Vision (see the message from 9.2.18) determines the path on which we are journeying, then our Values determine HOW we journey that path.  The questions we must wrestle with in this are: Are the things we tend to value worth the value we assign them? And are the values by which we live in fact life giving or are they stealing life from us?

w/ Vern Collins

“Anxious: Mary” (December 17, 2017)

from Luke 1:26-56

How do you navigate the unexpected interruptions that come in life?  The phone calls, the turn of events, the changes that sometimes come without any warning?  Do you just get through them, try to survive until you get to the other side?

What if it were possible to navigate those unexpected interruptions and challenges faithfully rather than just trying to get through them?  What if God could change your worry into willingness or your pain into possibility?

w/ Vern Collins

“Church: Outside the Walls” (September 10, 2017)

from Matthew 28:16-20

In our final week of our “Church” series, we are challenged with the work that the church was tasked with: making disciples.

What if making disciples weren’t the terrifying thing we believe it to be?  What if making disciples wasn’t about forcing something on people?  What if making disciples was not about what you do, but about who you become?  What if making disciples was simply rooted in relationship?

It can be.  And God can do amazing things in and through you simply by a willingness to say, “yes.”

w/ Vern Collins

“They’ll Know We are Christians: Out of Order” (May 14, 2017)

from Luke 7:36-50

Do we have any hope of reclaiming the adage, “They’ll Know We are Christians…by our LOVE?”

Christians are known for a number of things today…is love…the love that Christ offers us, the love that Christ modeled for us, and the love that Christ calls us to one of them?  Or are we known for our hypocrisy?  Are we known for our self-centeredness?  Are we known for our exclusivity, or our neglect of those not like us?

What if the church came to be known as a place for those no one else wanted?  What if all of the, “wrong people,” showed up?  How beautiful it might just become.

But how is that possible?

Only by allowing Jesus to re-order our lives…

w/ Vern Collins

“Life Together: Loving Well” (February 19, 2017)

from Romans 12

Loving well is not like sleep well.  IF things go smoothly during the night, if there are no worries, if kids don’t wake you up, if there are no nightmares then maybe you will sleep well.

But loving well should not be left up to such chance.  God is not a God of luck, God is a God of intentionality…in the way He loves us and in the way He calls us to love others.

Paul gives us a model for how we are to achieve the kind of love that is a reflection of the relationship from which we were created…the relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It begins with grace.

w/ Vern Collins

“Advent Conspiracy: Worship Fully” (November 27, 2016)

from Isaiah 9:2-7

The Advent of Jesus meant something to the small corner of the world in which He was born.  In fact, it would go on to mean something to the ENTIRE world.  From the birth of a baby to a criminal’s cross, the entrance of Jesus into humanity would forever alter the course of history…but has it altered yours?

Is your life different because of the Advent or arrival of Jesus?  Do you think differently about your time?  About your treasure?  About your future?  About those around you?

This and so much more is what we are invited into in Christ.  This Advent season, you are invited to pursue something a bit different from what this world says the season leading up to Christmas should be.   Come be a part of the conspiracy…it begins with worship!

w/ Luke Edwards

 

“More to the Story: Noah” (July 3, 2016)

from Genesis 6:5-22

In week 3 of our “More to the Story” series, we look at one of the most well known stories in all of Scripture…the story of Noah.  While there are any number of questions surrounding this account of Noah’s building of the ark and God’s bringing of the flood, we find that there is a questions posed to us…

In this world where we might say (save for a promise and a rainbow) we’re probably due for another wiping of the slate…what if in looking back at the account of Noah, we begin to see it, not as an issue of morality, but one of theology…does creation still allow God to be God?  Does humanity still allow God to be God?  Are you, in your life, allowing God to be God?

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Worship” (March 20, 2016-Palm Sunday)

from Matthew 21:1-11

It has been said that your doctrine determines your doxology…that is, what you believe about God or Who you believe God to be dictates your worship of God.  While there is truth to this, it places an awful lot of ownership on you to keep God at the center of your life in order that your worship might flow in the direction it needs to.

Perhaps worship is not only meant to be a response, but a means of focusing our attention and affection on God, that God might continue to reveal Himself to us through His Son Jesus.

What if worship weren’t just your response, but it also dictated the direction of your focus?

w/ Vern Collins

“Revelation: Worship” (Christmas Eve 2015 6:00pm service)

from Luke 2:1-20

Order.  We spend a great deal of time and energy in our lives seeking to achieve and maintain some sort of order.  And yet, all it takes is a phone call, a meeting at work, a notice in the mail, a visit to the doctor to realize that at any given moment we are a breath away from chaos breaking in and disrupting our safe, calculated lives.

The good news is, as a census was being taken in the Roman Empire…as order was being set…Jesus was entering the world…not in the midst of order, but on the fringe of it…on the edge of chaos.

In unexpected ways to unlikely people the birth of Jesus and news of His birth came…with a proclamation that through Christ, God is coming to make peace in the midst of the chaos…

w/ Vern Collins

“Foundations: Worship” (November 1, 2015)

from Revelation 7:9-16

Silent Mediation.  Old Hymns.  Traditional.  Contemporary.  Praise and Worship.  There are as many different opinions about what worship should be as there are people worshiping…or as there are people in church.

As we begin our “Foundations” series by looking at both foundations of the faith and foundations of who we are as a church and how we accomplish our mission of, “Loving our Community and inviting all to discover life in Christ,” we begin with worship as being a vital piece of that identity.

What your worship were not a matter of preference of style, but was the, “True Worship,” Jesus refers to in John 4, and that we catch a glimpse of in the vision of the throne in Revelation 7?

 

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Life”

from 1 Timothy 6:11-19

Time, Relationships, Headlines, Money…these are just SOME of the things in life that overwhelm us.  For the past four weeks, we’ve considered what it looks like to navigate those times when you feel overwhelmed by one or any number of these things.

What if the key was not just to navigate the overwhelming things, what if the goal was not just to get through them…what if the goal was to live an overwhelmed life?

A life overwhelmed by the reality of the goodness, and faithfulness, and love of God…present right in the midst of the rest that you are carrying.

Perhaps then you would find as Paul says, “the life that is truly life.”

w/ Vern Collins