Last week, I posted on Facebook about the necessity of not waiting until the worship gathering during which the Lord’s Supper was observed to examine one’s attitude and actions regarding the Body of Jesus Christ, the church.
I would like to piggy-back off of that thought regarding the corporate worship gathering and experience.
I have found it to be common that the corporate worship gathering and experience is segregated/compartmentalized from the rest of the week. It seems that in the minds of many there is a disconnect between the worship gathering and worship/praise throughout the week on an individual level. And I believe this lack of integration has had a direct impact on the corporate worship experience.
The Apostle Paul tells the Corinthian believers, “What the, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.” These are things given to and experienced by each believer in the days leading up to the worship gathering in order that they might bring these things with them to the worship gathering so that the depth and quality of the worship would be directly impacted and deepened. The worship gathering should not and must not be seen as disconnected from what has happened in the days leading up to it.
The individual’s experiences of God throughout the week should cause him/her to worship and praise on a daily basis as an individual. During those experiences, not only does s/he experience God, but s/he also receives from God that which He, through His Spirit, desires for him/her to take to the rest of the body of Christ at the corporate worship gathering. And by bringing those experiences and what has been received to the worship gathering, the rest of the body is taken into deeper and more intimate worship of God.
But sadly, it is much more common for there to be a “compartmentalization” attitude regarding life. And that has directly impacted the depth and intimacy of corporate worship.
The reason why the worship gathering is of high importance and priority of a church goes far beyond it just being the “event” where the highest % of the church gathers. It is of great importance and high priority because it should and must be the time where the church collects the individual experiences from the previous week and uses them to create and cause deeper and a more intimate worship experience. That worship gathering then is the culmination of the previous week.
But how many people truly see it as such, and how many people are actually seeing God’s presence and activity and giving throughout the days leading up to the gathering? This must be an intentional practice.
The worship gathering is also the inauguration, motivation, and impetus for individual worship during the week following the corporate gathering. By experiencing what others have experienced in the days leading up to that gathering, that then prepares us to further experience receive from God during the days after the gathering.
This is how it should be. Sadly, it seems to me that this is more truly the exception than the norm.
This MUST change.