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The need to do it differently

Several nights ago we had dinner with some very dear friends. We served together in 2 churches and they have remained friends over the years. God is working in his life right now. We are prone to use words like the next chapter to describe what he is thinking about. How does God desire to use him. He is gifted by God and honestly done some things that surprise me because I knew him when. Yes, he is younger and we think of them as if they are our kids and in many ways they are. But we didn’t have to pay for stuff like food and clothes like with ours. You get the idea.

As much as we enjoyed and appreciated hearing what God was showing them, I was excited to dream about what God will do with them in the future. They have a lot of years left to serve God. All things equal they will live a full and fruitful life. Isn’t that what all of us want, a full and fruitful life? For us I know that is what we want even though we are older now but God still has a job for us to do. As a good friend said once about himself “I want to finish strong”. I have chosen to use that phrase in describing my life moving forward.

Recently I was asked about filling the role as a Pastor again. I quickly answered absolutely not. I know we are exactly where God wants us to be. Serving Him in His churches and with His people in a manner in which He has divinely placed us. We love helping and encouraging churches and Pastors. The old saying “some one needs to do it” came to mind and we sure are glad God chose us.

Ministry is hard but then again so is being a church member. Each has its own particular dynamics and each needs the other. There is a lot that goes on in a church. I am talking about a local congregation. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Probably in that area alone are where most issues begin to take root. Listen, there is not enough room or time to write about all of the ways and things which can occur in a church. Let’s just leave it by saying Scripture is clear in Ecclesiastes 1:9 ESV-

9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

If you think about it we keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Yes, we are talking about insanity. We cannot get past these failed attempts to see something happen that never will.

As we talked with our friends, I was intrigued by the thought of what he told me. He was sensing the need to do it differently? What do I mean by that? If there is one thing that Covid has done, it is change church as we knew it in so many ways. How often and where we attend. What the ministry is of the church. You see we were actually pretty program and attraction driven in the big scheme of things. Relax, so your church doesn’t have a laser light show and fog. Honestly, the one down the street doesn't need it either but that is a topic for another time.

Acts 2 is the account of the Holy Spirit coming, Peter preaching Jesus and 3,000 people get saved. In the end of the chapter, fellowship begins for the church. Yes, it was a local congregation, yet it is representative of what a church looks like and more importantly how it got that way, Jesus.

This is not a blog about lights and fog but it is about God being God and we aren’t. Listen, I personally like an exciting and emotional worship service. Did you hear that, worship service? That means from the opening greeting, the prayers, the tithes, the message all are to be worship unto the Lord. Worship is not just the musical part of the service. Aristotle said that “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. Think about that for a moment. The overall experience of worship is greater than any individual part. But wait a minute, you might say. It is the songs we sing that prepare us for the message. That may be true but they are not greater than the message. Simply, the time we come together in corporate worship, all of us doing worship together, is worship to God.

The word worship comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word worth-ship. Worship is directed to the one who is worthy of our worship. Again, He is God and we are not. This is not an easy thing for many Christians to grasp. For too long they have been led, told and experienced things that are called worship but in and of themselves they are not worship. They are props and a prop is defined as “something used in creating or enhancing a desired effect”.

We need to be careful in our worship of God not to create or enhance a desired effect. God doesn’t need fog and laser lights however many think it is necessary to attract or entertain. Isn’t that exactly what the word prop means?

I think my friend is right when he mentioned that he sensed the need to do it differently. With all that has happened in the past year and half, church will need to be done differently. Yet, this is not about an organizational system but rather something bigger and life changing.

A thought to ponder,

Elbert Nasworthy

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