For the week of January 24, 2005

The Purpose of Worship
By: Tom Bandy
Although there are plenty of theological definitions of worship, the wise church leader will understand the organizational and systemic purpose of worship. In this perspective, there are only two reasons why worship deserves dedicated time, space, and staff:

• Worship is the one regular consensus-building moment when the body of Christ can clearly define, refine, and celebrate the unique DNA of the congregation. Your core values, bedrock beliefs, motivating vision, and strategic mission should be communicated constantly, in as many media as possible. The measure of good worship is how memorably the DNA sticks in the minds of newcomers and the behavior of regular worshippers.

• Worship is the primary way people are drawn into a discipling process. Worship changes lives, confronts people with the non-rational experience of the Holy, and then deliberately draws them into tactics and relationships that help them discover God, discern personal destiny, do great mission. The measure of good worship is how many adults are drawn into midweek personal growth and hands-on mission.

If you cannot measure the success of worship in these two ways, your worship will soon be boring, tedious, and irrelevant. If you can measure success in these two ways, your worship will be deep and compelling … no matter what kind of music, liturgy, or stylistic adjustments you make.