Worship on Sunday morning can serve several purposes. The main purpose, however, must always be this: giving praise, honor, and glory to God, and surrendering our hearts to His will. All other things are secondary. One of the side-roads that worship takes, without our knowledge usually, is that it serves as a tool of indirect evangelism.
How does it do this? People visit congregations all the time. Why? Because they have an inkling of desire to connect with and find truth in a world full of deception. When they come into a congregation, they should be able to see the genuine, heartfelt, and honest attitude of people assembling together humbly to worship the Almighty God. I would like to say that this doesn’t matter…but unfortunately, numerous studies, and more importantly the Bible (Acts 2) tells us another story.
If people visit a congregation and the worship is more like a funeral, the people are unfriendly, and the sermon beats them down to the ground and discourages them, do you honestly think those people will come back? Probably not.
Jesus tells the disciples this: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). So when people see the church, when they see how we treat one another, when they see how we worship God., then that will clue them in to how big of disciples we really are. If we don’t like each other its pretty easy to see through that, too.
So what’s the solution? Keeping God first is always the primary goal, and that’s 80-90% of the solution. The other 10 or 20% come from how we conduct ourselves during our assembly. Are we smothering strangers with the love of the Lord, or are we keeping away from them like they have the plague? Are we connecting with God and letting Him change our lives before we try to influence others? Are we putting our best foot forward and doing all things with excellence? If not, it shows, and the very people we are trying to love will walk away disenchanted, disillusioned, and unconnected with the saving power of Jesus Christ.
A second part to think about is this: are you praying about worship before it happens? A good friend of mine says “Worship starts on Saturday night.” Are you mentally preparing to give your heart and life to God in song and prayer the next morning? These little steps can go a long way in reaching out to the community without even trying. Just something to think about! – Scott