“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
The pastor, volunteer organist, and a few members of a small congregation met to plan what to do to deepen the worship life of the church. They spent an evening discussing the purpose of worship. They studied Scripture, prayed, read a chapter in a book about worship, and came to the conclusion that Christian worship is “for the love of God.” Then they conscientiously considered what each person might do “for the love of God” to make Sunday worship more special.
They decided that “for the love of God” they would close each service with everyone holding hands for prayer. They decided “for the love of God” to take Communion to the homebound whenever they celebrated the sacrament and that “for the love of God” they would talk to the Trustees about making the entry handicapped accessible. “For the love of God,” the organist even agreed to support the soloist in singing with recorded music from time to time!
These little changes, appropriate to a small family-sized congregation, reveal how much the people care about worship, that it really matters to them, and that they really believe something is at stake in this sacred time.
What do you do “for the love of God” as a leader or participant that contributes to worship that is alive, engaging, and vital?
Excerpted from Cultivating Fruitfulness, ©Abingdon Press, 2008.