“This is what we were made to do.” I found myself repeating that phrase in my head as I prepared songs for this upcoming weekend. Most people, especially in America, find themselves at some sort of church service on Sunday mornings, but I don’t think we always know why. Some of us go out of habit; our parents took us when we were kids so we continue going as adults, eventually take our kids and the cycle continues. Others go out of morality; we feel better about ourselves when we consistently go to church, even if we end up sleeping through the service. At least we were there! There are many reasons why people end up in church on the weekend.
I don’t know people’s hearts when they come to Resonate each week. Crazy, I know. God has been teaching me that He doesn’t need me to know people’s hearts, but rather wants to work on mine and in doing so, use me to do something in the lives of others. It’s not because of me that people’s hearts get changed; it’s God working through me, the same way that He works through any other follower of Christ (John 14:12, Philippians 2:12-13). All that being said, being together and glorifying God is what we were made to do.
Perhaps the commonality in the reasons that people show up to church on Sunday mornings is because of something inherently in them. The Bible teaches us that we were made for God’s glory and His pleasure (Ephesians 2:8-10, Revelation 4:11) which I believe is a universal, nonnegotiable truth. Whether you believe God exists or not, whether you trust in Jesus or not, God made you for His glory and pleasure. For those of us who follow Christ, our purpose is to show those who don’t know Him that He loves us and has a plan for us. We are called to be lights (Mathew 5:13-16). I believe that part of the beauty and calling of the church, which is not made up of a particular building but rather the body of believers (Ephesians 1:15-23, 1 Corinthians 12:27), is to “floodlight” communities. When we come together as individual believers (think individual candlesticks), our light brightens (think multiple candlesticks). Singing together, eating together, laughing together, crying together, doing life together (Acts 4:32); all of these things are meant to motivate us to shine for Him at home, work, soccer practice, grocery stores and wherever else we go (Colossians 3:17).
My job as worship pastor is to remind us of what we were made to do. My prayer has always been that we see the church beyond the four walls of our weekly gatherings. That’s why I am a proponent of extended worship experiences such as the Resonate Social. Pushing the “1 hour service time” boundaries helps remind me and us that we shouldn’t try to fit God or His people into a pocket of our lives. Not only should God be a part of every hour and day of your week but so should we, the Body of Christ. We find encouragement and strength in community.
We will be singing Great Are You Lord during our service time in Resonate this weekend. The chorus sings, “It’s Your breathe in our lungs so we pour our praise to You only.” What a beautiful truth. The same God who literally breathed life into Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:7), breathed life into us (Psalm 139:13-14) so that we can glorify Him. Sometimes a loud band and mood lighting distract us from this simple truth so we’re going to do something a little different. I pray that the change helps renew your purpose and passion in a sometimes seemingly mundane and repetitious weekly activity.