I’d like to share the way our congregation structures its worship service. I have nothing special to offer―only my own reflections on where our congregation is, and perhaps where we’ll go. What we do on Sunday mornings, and how we do it, is important. Perhaps my comments here will be useful.
Many Christians don’t think critically about what happens on Sundays. This isn’t a rebuke, just an observation. Over 40 years ago, Robert G. Rayburn shared similar misgivings:
… having personally visited in a large number of churches in recent months and years, sometimes as a guest preacher, I have been amazed at the carelessness and insincerity that were evident in the services. The people were going through the motions of worship singing the words of the hymns and maintaining quiet when prayers were being uttered, but with no apparent sincere worship of God. The pastors who conducted the services were also careless in a number of services, for example there was nothing to remind the congregation that it is only the pure in heart who shall see God and it is only those whose lives have been cleansed from evil who are able to pray with the confidence that the Lord will hear them.1
In a previous article, I outlined a brief case for why the regulative principle of worship (“RP”) wasn’t a label worth owning. I still believe that. Here is a modified version of the argument I presented there:
"The English word worship comes from the early Modern English 'worthship'; at its root it’s simply recognizing the worth of someone. ... we do that in the same ways that we’d show respect for anyone else, but elevated, or exponentiated, because he’s exponentially more worthy than anyone else." - Olinger