3 Keys to Improved Worship

Have you ever thought about ways to improve worship? Much has been written on the subject recently. Allow me to share a few thoughts I’ve gleaned from my study over the last few years.

3 Keys to Improved Worship

1. God is the audience. When you hear the word audience associated with worship, what comes to mind? Do you picture the preacher, the praise team, the choir, the organist, the pianist, and various soloists on stage at different points with the congregation looking on as the audience? This is what comes to mind for many, but it is not a biblical model.

In biblical worship, the audience is God!

In biblical worship, the audience is God! The person seated on the back row of the balcony is “on stage” in God’s eyes just as much as the soloist and the preacher. God watches all of us as we worship Him. Those in the congregation must understand that those on stage are not there to please them; they are there to please God!

2. Every Christian should prepare for worship. Through the years, I have taught that we should come to the services “prepared” to worship God. We can’t worship if we’re worn out or hung over from a late Saturday night. We can’t place God first on Sunday if we haven’t given Him a second-thought during the week. Worship is a seven-day-a-week proposition and it takes special preparation to be ready for Sunday worship. Many get nothing out of worship because they’ve put nothing into worship during the week.

We can’t place God first on Sunday if we haven’t given Him a second-thought during the week.

3. Preaching is a two-way street. Every week I look out and see a plethora of reactions to my preaching. I see some on the edge of their seats, making mental notes and often taking written notes. Sitting near them, I often see someone fighting back sleep. Now I realize that some people have medical issues that cause them to sleep any time they get still for a minute or two, but I suspect that some are just dulled to the message because of their lifestyle. My preaching would improve in their eyes if they would improve the way they live.

Challenge:  I challenge you to a little experiment. Spend one entire week preparing for worship on Sunday. Read your Bible and pray every day. Ask the Lord to help your pastor to hear His voice as He shows him what to say. Go to bed early on Saturday and get to church a little early on Sunday so you won’t feel rushed. During the service, remember that God hears your expressions of praise and knows your heart. I am confident that worship will “come alive” for us like never before when we make it a true priority in our lives.

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7 Facts about the Heavenly Body

Have you ever wondered what our bodies will be like in Heaven? Will I still be a runner? If so, will I be faster and able to run as far as I desire without becoming tired?  Will we need to exercise? Will we need to eat and what food will be available? Here are a number of Scripture passages that shed light on this interesting subject.

7 Interesting Facts about the Heavenly Body

  1. Our heavenly body will be recognizable.  (1 Corinthians 13:12; Matthew 17:1-3)
  2. Our heavenly body will be like Christ’s body.  (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:39)
  3. Our heavenly body will permit eating.  (Luke 24:40-43)
  4. Our heavenly body will be unlimited by time, gravity, and space.  (Luke 24:31; John 20:19, 26)
  5. Our heavenly body will be an eternal body.  (2 Corinthians 5:1-5; 1 Corinthians 15:42)
  6. Our heavenly body will be a glorified body.  (Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 14:42-43)
  7. Our heavenly body will be a spiritual body.  (1 Corinthians 15:44)

The Bible does not tell us everything about the Christian’s future body, but it does give us quite a bit of information. I’ve heard other questions as well. Will there be animals in Heaven?  Will we know everyone and not need introductions?  Will we be married in Heaven?  Will we be aware of loved ones and friends who did not make it to Heaven?

Through Him (Jesus) we can experience forgiveness and cleansing.

I hope you are prepared for Heaven.  Jesus loves you and wants you to spend eternity with Him.  He came to this earth and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, although He Himself never sinned.  Through Him we can experience forgiveness and cleansing.  Confess to Him that you have sinned.  Invite Him to come into your heart and to forgive you of your sins.  Commit to follow Him as the Lord of your life. Find a local Biblical church and become involved. You will grow and God will be pleased!

8 Reasons to Hire An Interim Pastor

When a pastor leaves, it can be a difficult time for the church. Even if the pastor’s departure is somewhat desired by the church, it is still a very challenging season. One of the keys for success during this time is for the church to hire a good interim pastor. Here are a number of reasons why most churches should hire an interim pastor.

8 Reasons to Hire An Interim Pastor

1. The church needs consistency. When a church chooses to use guest preachers every week during this time of transition there is no consistency in the pulpit. This often leads to tension and confusion in the church.

2. You protect the doctrine of the church. It is much easier to vet one interim pastor than to vet a different guest preacher every weekend. A church is more open for doctrinal errors when using guest preachers, especially when those guest preachers are lay-members of the church who have no formal theological training.

A church is more open for doctrinal errors when using a guest preacher…”

3. The church needs time to grieve. When a beloved pastor leaves there is a time of grieving. Church members may not recognize that they are dealing with grief, but they are. It is important for them to work through that process before the new pastor begins so they will be emotionally ready to embrace him as their new pastor once he arrives.

4. There is a leadership void. When a pastor leaves it creates a leadership void. If the church does not hire an interim pastor, two dangers exist. First, the void does not get filled and the church lacks direction. Second, the void does get filled with church members who should not be leading and who are reluctant to relinquish the role once the new pastor is in place.

5. It gives the Search Team breathing room. The Search Team looking for the new pastor is under a great deal of pressure. The church has asked them to find their next pastor which is a huge responsibility. Having a good interim in place will relieve some of that pressure and help them to not feel rushed.

6. Fresh eyes. An interim pastor will have “fresh eyes.” He will have the ability and authority to address issues that exist with the facility, worship services, staffing, etc.

7. New ideas. Most interim pastors have years of successful ministry. As a result, they will have lots of new ideas that can help the church continue to move forward during this interim period.

8. Staff guidance. Even the most capable church staff will find it very awkward if nobody is filling the office of “pastor.” An interim pastor gives them someone with whom they can talk, plan, and consult.

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