Worship and Church Health
WORSHIP AND CHURCH HEALTH
The worship service is the most important event in the local church, and the
engine that drives all programming. Church health depends on what happens in
that experience. If the worship service is deteriorating, growth in other
ministries will be temporal and marginal. When all is said and done, dynamic
worship services produce dynamic churches.
Yet dynamic worship is not merely a church growth factor. Worship is the
reason for the existence of the church. "But you are a chosen people, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare
the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had
not received mercy, but now you have received mercy" (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Evangelism is "gossiping the gospel" to our families, friends, and neighbors.
This boasting in the Lord is what worship is all about. We declare through
the arts, symbol, and language what the Lord has done for us. Some people say
that we should praise God for who he is, not because of what he can do for
us. But this is an unfortunate distinction. We only know who God is because
of what he has created and redeemed, in essence, what he has done. With this
consideration, the local church is one of the best places for evangelism.
This is where we proclaim Jesus Christ as the King of kings and the Lord of
— Kevin J. Navarro, THE COMPLETE WORSHIP LEADER. Grand Rapids: Baker Books,
2001, p. 13. ISBN 0-8010-9116-0
[NOTE: This selection could easily be misunderstood. The author is NOT saying
that singing is more important than preaching, or that a slick stage
performance on Sunday morning is what drives the local church toward success
in other ministries. Rather, he suggests that our proper understanding of and
response to the God of creation and redemption will inform and fuel
everything else we do as the local church. The author notes that the
effective worship leader must be prepared in four main areas: theology,
discipleship, artistry, and leadership.]
Have a great week,
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary