Friday, August 17, 2007

Change the worship forecast.

I shared this today with our worship team, as part of my new role working with that team and many of our adult ministries. I thought it was worth reposting here:

    Supposedly it's August outside, but I'm sure enjoying this spring/fall type weather. Somehow it just makes things less tiring and makes the outdoors a little bit more appealing when our temps are in the 90s and even the 80s!

    The weather forecasters say it's going to be a great Sunday, with highs in the upper 80s. Incredible! These forecasters use all kinds of maps and gauges and devices to predict the weather, but no matter what they say or do, they can't AFFECT or SHAPE the weather. It will be what it will be.

    But did you realize that you and I can AFFECT and SHAPE the "weather" in our services each Sunday? Our hearts and attitudes and lives will affect the atmosphere in the Sanctuary at 11AM Sunday. If our hearts are filled with anger or bitterness or frustration or greed or lust or resentment -- any fruit that ISN'T the godly fruit of the spirit -- then we're bringing "down" the atmosphere. But when we walk in and our hearts are filled with love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control, then we help to "raise" the atmosphere. Incredible isn't it!

    That doesn't mean we walk in wearing a "happy Christian mask." That doesn't mean we hide the pain we've experienced over the last week. That doesn't mean we pretend we're perfect. But it means that we prepare our hearts LONG before 10:59AM on a Sunday. That means we're worshiping God all week, not just during our set of songs each weekend. It means our choices and lifestyles during the week honor God and set an example for the people around us. It means our attitudes and actions on Sunday draw people closer to God. It means that as we stand on the platform, lifting our hands, clapping our hands, singing out praises to God (or playing our instruments for His glory), we are setting the temperature and atmosphere for the rest of the congregation. We're leading people into God's presence through our attitudes and actions and heart condition. And that's just an awesome thought. The weather forecaster can't change the weather. But worshipers can change the atmosphere of worship.

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