Have you ever thought about what the desired result is from a Sunday worship service? I think most of us would rightly say we're there to "Worship God" or "Learn from the Scriptures". . . there's many good purposes for Sunday worship. But, what do we want to take away?
Is it true that Sunday is just for scripture proclamation, and we need small groups, meeting at a different time to "apply" truth? Is "Real" discipleship what happens totally outside of Sunday worship?
There are all good questions, sometimes with many answers. But, the reason we worship the way we do at GLC is for spiritual growth. The reason we confess our sins together, read God's word (out loud and silently), sing, preach from God's Word, and fellowship together . . .is so that we'll grow in Christ. I believe weekly worship does that. Do we need small groups, mentoring relationships, age-appropriate ministries, sermon podcasts, etc. . . ? Yes. But, Sunday worship is a large part of our spiritual growth. It's not just a presentation we do so that the church can get on to more important business throughout the week. Let's stop with the false dichotomies of "being the Church" vs. "going to Church" "personal piety" (reading the bible, prayer) vs. "corporate piety" (attending church, taking the Lord's supper, singing), or "worship at church" vs. "worship is 24/7".
I think all of the good things God calls us to as Christians, start as we worship together. I think one of the main ways we can avoid forgetting the Gospel is to be faithful on Sundays. I think our personal piety is crucial, but should be an outflow of our corporate piety. This is an encouragement to those who plan Sunday worship (is it formative, or entertaining?) and to those who attend Sunday worship.
Zac Hicks, a worship pastor in Ft. Lauderdale, FL has written a lot about what "liturgy" actually means. The worship service is actually God's service to us. . . where He's working on us. The elements of our services should have that as the goal. . . . God working on us. It's a formative thing, and we should be looking forward to it each week. Read Zac's thoughts here: