Worship: The Church's Preeminent Duty
There is a cancer update at the end of this message.
CHIP STAM STEM CELL DRIVE: BE THE MATCH
HAITI RELIEF: Please send a generous contribution for Haiti's earthquake relief. If your trusted friends, church, or denomination can't help you with the choice of an agency, I would be happy to make a suggestion. There are lots of good options. email@example.com
INSTITUTE FOR CHRISTIAN WORSHIP LECTURES
Deanna Witkowski, Jazz Pianist, Composer, Vocalist, February 18-20, 2010
Andrew Peterson, Author, Songwriter, Performer, February 25-26, 2010
Bob Kauflin, Author, Songwriter, Sovereign Grace Ministries, March 18, 2010
At the 150th anniversary of the dedication of his church (All Souls, Langham Place, London), John Stott articulated his dream for Christ-centered churches everywhere. "I have a dream of a BIBLICAL church, a WORSHIPING church, a CARING church, a SERVING church, an EXPECTANT church." Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from Stott's 2007 volume, THE LIVING CHURCH: CONVICTIONS OF A LIFELONG PASTOR, from the chapter on the preeminence of biblical worship.
WORSHIP: THE CHURCH'S PREEMINENT DUTY
It is often said that the church's preeminent responsibility is evangelism. But this is not so, for at least three reasons. First, evangelism comes under the heading of our duty to our neighbor, whereas worship is our duty to God, and our duty to God must take precedence over our duty to our neighbor.
Second, although all of us are expected to share the gospel with others whenever the opportunity presents itself, evangelism is also a spiritual gift or CHARISMA that is given only to some, Thus not all Christians are evangelists (see Ephesians 4:11), but all Christians are worshipers, both in private and in public.
Third, evangelism is a temporary activity, which will cease when the Lord Jesus comes to consummate his kingdom. But our worship will continue throughout eternity.
This being so, namely that worship is the church's preeminent duty, we should surely give it our closest attention.
What, however, is worship? Perhaps the best scriptural definition of it is to be found in Psalm 105:3. To worship is to "glory in God's holy name." Gods name is his revealed character. It is "holy" because it is unique, set apart from and above all other names. And once we glimpse the holiness of God's great name, we see the fitness of "glorying" or reveling in it. Indeed, we are to join with all creatures in pronouncing him worthy of our praise, because he is both our Creator and our Redeemer (Revelation 5:9-14). Because of who God is, it is appropriate that we should "worship at his footstool" Psalm 99:5).
[Stott goes on in this chapter to describe how faithful Christian worship is biblical, congregational, spiritual, and moral. The following chapter expounds on the importance of “Evangelism: Mission through the Local Church.” Stott writes, “Worship leads to witness, and witness to worship.”]
— John Stott, THE LIVING CHURCH: CONVICTIONS OF A LIFELONG PASTOR. Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2007, pp. 34-35. ISBN 978-0-8308-3486-0. Highly recommended.
THE PLACE OF THE CHOIR IN WORSHIP: PART 1 (Ed Willmington):
THE PLACE OF THE CHOIR IN WORSHIP: PART 2 (Carl Stam):
THE PLACE OF THE CHOIR IN WORSHIP: PART 3 (Donald Hustad):
THE PLACE OF THE CHOIR IN WORSHIP: PART 4 (Ron Man):
Blessings to all!
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Ministries
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
HEALTH UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST
FOR CHIP STAM, CANCER PATIENT
Dear Praying Friends,
Thanks again for praying for my cancer treatment.
Detailed journal entries and new photos about my cancer treatment are available at www.caringbridge.org/visit/carlstam (click on "journal" or "photos").
My last days of treatment at the cancer clinic were January 25-27—this week again, nothing. Thankfully, the chemotherapy drugs that are in my body right now are not producing a lot of negative side effects, and I feel pretty normal (well enough to shovel the sidewalk at 5:30am this morning). I am teaching a few isolated classes here and there. We realize that at any time the doctors might find the right stem cell match and toss me into the hospital, but it looks like that will not happen until the current month of chemo is complete—the last week of February at the soonest. As far as the stem cell match is concerned, detailed analysis of donor samples #4-#6 is still being done. We pray that this will be successful. We are also pretty excited (and greatly humbled) by the effort of many to make the STEM CELL DRIVE a great success.
BE THE MATCH—CHIP STAM STEM CELL DRIVE
In conjunction with the national BE THE MATCH FOUNDATION, and with the help of some former students (now good friends), we have launched the CHIP STAM STEM CELL DRIVE. Please take a look at the site: (www.sbts.edu/carl-stam). Distribute that link widely to anyone who might join us for the on-site drives or the virtual drive in order to SAVE LIVES (in Louisville on February 11; in Chapel Hill on February 28; and at Notre Dame some time in March). The web site includes a three-minute video in which I explain what is involved with the process. Cell donors must be 18 to 60 years of age and in relatively good health. The site will help you get all the information you need.
Keep praying; and don't forget to care for the cancer patients in your families, churches, neighborhoods, and places of employment.
In Christ's perfect love,
WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
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