Wednesday, August 8, 2007

why are we here?

Why does the church exist?

It has a lot of functions: Fellowship, teaching, nurture, worship...but all of those and many more either have a continuation or an ending in Heaven. There is one however that stands out as limited to the brief time we have here.


To show, tell, illustrate, explain, dance, create movies, do graphic art...THAT...tells the story of Jesus and his rescue of our titanic lives.

To be sure God desires authentic worship; words of prophesy; inner-healing; prayer; solid doctrinal teaching; programs for our kids and students...but these are not things that are PRIMAL priorities in terms of mission. The mission is to continue the ministry of Jesus, which was primarily to live, suffer, die for the sake of the gospel rescue of those who do not know him.
There are things we enjoy most...and there are things God enjoys most. When we [as slaves to God] become more concerned about His joy than our own, we turn the corner of being true disciples.

Thus while God allows us to indulge a certain level of preference in a variety of things the commands to love God-each other-the lost-and our enemies...coupled with making disciples...are non-negotiables.

View it like this.

You were a piece of art, poetry, media that was poorly scribbled and juvenile in form and content. Then Jesus rescued you and turned you into a masterpiece of art [that incidentally becomes more beautiful day by day as it ages in the presence of the Holy Spirit who is transforming it]. That art exists solely to give glory to the artist {god} and we call this giving glory to God {worship}. Thus, the church exists at least in part to help you learn to express this art to the world...through your unique signature and form. It may be poetry, dance, teaching, cooking, mowing yards, painting houses...but those things are worship.


When worship becomes an expectation of how one feels at church, what one enjoys or likes...something else besides God is being worshipped. Self. Here we end up in spiritual pride and selfishness which is a virus increasingly effecting the western church. Now we are mere spiritual consumers, and differ little from the world in simply wanting to get something from God instead of giving something to God.

Most people are at a church from 3-5 years. The reasons for that are myriad. My point is simply this: wherever you are and wherever you go keep two things in mind.

  1. Go to give God worship. Whatever the style is, don't act like that can stop you from giving God love. From Hymns to Electronica press through to find Him. Listen to what is preached and compare it to scripture and if it fits than apply and act on it...because God enjoys the worship of obedience to His word. Bring out the worship in those around you in it's various forms of art and encourage people to thus display the gospel to the world.

  2. Be Missional as the primary focus of life. Jesus died to rescue you, and then asks you to rescue others. That is messy and at times difficult business. But please don't make primary the secondary things of life, don't trivialize the cross with selfishness about style and such things. Deny self, pick up a cross, and follow him. Anything less than that, fails to understand the implications of our rescuers life and death.

I write this because I love God and I love 5 stones. And I don't want us to miss God's purpose and mission for our lives while puddled in our own private preferences and passions. HIS PASSION is our passion, and His passion is the mission.

What did the woman who received living water do...what was her worship?

she told everybody she could...about Jesus



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