Our experience of congregational worship at Mill City is typical in many ways. We sing, we greet, we hear a teaching, and we leave to meet God outside of church walls. My responsibility is to not only direct those I lead toward my intended destination but to also meet them where they begin the journey. In other words, a part of our journey together includes meeting individuals at his or her starting places.
We all carry previous impressions and experiences of Church, including those regarding words like ‘liturgy,’ hymns, drums, volume levels, dancing, and even singing in general. Not everyone will be happy with our choices or expressions, and that’s ok. Yet how are we to determine a course in the midst of such a volume of opinion? Our best baseline is always found in scripture, and, specifically, the Psalms are one of our best resources as we look to a biblical expression to inspire our worship today.
Worship in the Psalms is raw, physical, and passionate. However, in contrast, the values in our Christian culture today often include introspection, independence, and even stoicism. There is a general “I’ve got it all together” smile people plaster on their faces on Sunday mornings, but at Mill City I believe we’re on a trajectory back toward a truer sense of expression of our faith.
God has called us to bring ‘our all’ into worship and into our relationship with him. Sunday mornings are an overflow — a celebration of that individual relationship on the corporate scale. If we are to worship “in Spirit and in truth,” we must embrace all it means to know and be fully known by God. And so, to act in a manner other than how our principles dictate leaves us missing out on the wholeness that God means for us to enjoy. I encourage my team in this regard on a regular basis, saying, “bring your all on Sunday mornings — the fullness of your week — and know that God sees it, knows you, and is still and always victorious.”
I believe our corporate expression has room to reflect this in a greater way. Moments, such as when the Bronco’s won Super Bowl 50 and every fan lifted their arms and voices in victory, present themselves constantly in the life of a Christian. Our belief and principle tells us so. Let’s lean towards that on Sunday mornings as we lift our hands, sing loudly, bow, remain intentionally still, and let our worship reflect a savior who is RISEN and REIGNING.