When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
–1 Corinthians 14:26
What does genuine worship look like? Yesterday, we saw two characteristics of genuine worship: it is centered on God, not on us, and it is corporate, not just individual. Now let’s look at one final characteristic: genuine worship is active, not passive.
We see that in the first-century church. Those early Christians did not just sit in the pews, staring at the backs of one another’s heads and watching the paid professionals do their thing. Instead, we find a glimpse of what the early church was like in 1 Corinthians 14:26: “When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” In the early church, everyone participated. The apostles would teach, yes, but the members would also participate.
Now, there is a time once a week when we need to come and hear the Word of God presented. If you are in a local church, God has given your church a pastor, and that pastor’s job is to equip you to do the work of ministry. But even though there is a presentation of God’s Word, there also ought to be a time when people get to participate in worship.
The early church included both of those functions in their weekly services: they would have a time when the apostles would teach, then they had a time of sharing, and they would finish with the Lord’s Supper. Both presentation and participation took place.
Many of our church services today are not like that. They do not provide the atmosphere where Christians can get to know one another on a deeper level, where there can be sharing and encouragement among the members of the body. So how do we participate in worship?
One way is to become part of a small group in your church, whether that is a Sunday school class or a home group that meets during the week. There needs to be a time when you can share what God is doing in your life and how other people can pray for you. If you are not part of a small group like that where you can get to know other Christians on a deeper level, you are missing out on a vital function of the church, and you are missing out on one way the Holy Spirit wants to energize you and encourage you. The Bible says one way we can participate in worship is to become part of a small group.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Up with Worship” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.