There are several phrases used in church that I haven’t located in Scripture. It’s okay, they don’t have to be found in scripture to be used.
Here Are a Few of Them
- Have the communion trays been filled?
- Who has our opening prayer?
- Who’s officiating the Lord’s Supper?
- Are we singing old or new songs?
- Do we have announcements?
- Is it time for the children’s contribution?
- Don’t you think his sermons are too long!
These and others can be heard in my church on any given Sunday.
That’s because on any given Sunday we sing, pray, observe the Lord’s Meal, have a sermon and take up an offering. Sometimes we have a baby blessing, or a blessing for a mission trip, or for donated items to the less fortunate. Often there is a video, a testimonial or a baptism. It’s all pretty good.
Frankly, I find it reassuring that the Holy Spirit left “the worship service,” fairly vague. If a global, all time Order of Worship (another phrase not found in scripture) was important to the Spirit then it makes sense the Spirit would have given one. But he didn’t.
Clearly the early church sang, prayed, heard the word, shared the bread and wine and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Obviously they gave and they gave a lot.
Growing up in conservative churches our worship focus was about 40% on what we were doing and about 60% on doing it right. Doing it right was big in our church. Doing it right meant making sure we didn’t do it wrong. Doing it wrong might incur the wrath of God bringing judgment and condemnation on us and we sure didn’t want any of that.
It’s different today, or maybe I’m just different. The last few Sundays we took time to bless two groups of kids. The first were children about to start Kindergarten, a big change for them and their parents. We prayed over the parents during Bible Class and then over the kids in the worship assembly. The next week we did the same with kids, and their parents, entering the 7th grade. Both are important milestones. I’m glad we do that kind of thing. It’s important for the families and for the church family.
I’m glad the Holy Spirit left us some wiggle room regarding what happens in worship. The wiggling is some of the best stuff we do to encourage and bless others. I think the Spirit would be happy about it, but that’s just me.