Five Ways Congregational Worship Shapes Us

by Taylor Cain June 14, 2019

Congregational worship arms us with gospel-firepower for the week.

Congregational singing should leave an impression on the congregation that follows them into their week. No matter how bad your memory may be, singing songs that are creative, lyrically sound, and catchy will be left ringing in your ears. Throughout the week, singing helps us to remember the truths that we have reminded each other of during Sunday morning worship. Sing loudly. Belt out the truths that will echo all throughout the upcoming week in the ears of your brothers and sisters in Christ! When I face temptations during the week, it helps me to think of my brothers and sisters singing Scriptural truths. This is my ammo to fight against temptations to sin. The great theologian Buddy the Elf reminds us “to sing loud for all to hear.” This is why I believe that we might need to turn down the microphones on stage so that the congregational singing can be amped up. Don’t be shy when it comes to singing. In congregational worship, we sing both to the One True King and to fellow believers.

Congregational worship gives us a sliver of what worship will be like in Heaven.

We come to the Sunday morning service beat by the world if not beat up by ourselves. We come into the sanctuary with wounded hearts and worn out minds. When Heaven seems so distant, congregational worship reminds us that it isn’t really as far as we think it is. Jesus Christ our Savior is returning and we must marvel at His coming! Congregational worship helps us to march onward into the week where temptations wait for us. We need each other to cry out knowing we embrace the truth that our King is coming; therefore, we can endure the temporary madness that is real life. We have a God who keeps His promises. Rejoice in the glory that will be revealed!

Congregational worship reminds us to be in community.

Sunday morning worship should continue throughout the week. We should be adamant about intentionally gathering with other saints for prayer, discipleship, and evangelism. Worship goes with us not only as individual Christians, but also as the Body. This can take place at weekly group gatherings, discipleship, or showing hospitality to other church members. We need each other more than just on Sunday mornings. When my wife and I moved to Kansas City two summers ago, we were nervous if we would face hard times in our marriage in our in between stages of joining a church. But families in the church were intentional with us. Though we thought we were going to be lonely as we started to get to know people in our church, we saw God’s kind grace in immediately having people graciously barge into our lives. I love the fact that God designed His church for people to gather together and worship Him with others throughout the week. Though we should seek Him in our closets or a quiet place during the week, he has commanded us to gather together as the church on Sunday morning. We are the church, yes, but we gather in the church building. You can't gather by yourself. God’s design of community togetherness bolsters our spiritual growth.

Congregational worship provides us with a template for family worship.

Worship doesn’t end on Sunday morning. Our worship of God goes with us. Sunday mornings should give us a template of what family worship should look like during the week. If you were to receive what our teaching pastor calls “worship guides” or bulletins, you’d see that we are intentional about weaving the gospel in and through our liturgy. From the call to worship to the benediction, our members and guests are clearly shown the gospel. We don’t try to side step the gospel when it comes to our worship service instead we want to make the gospel known to our church members and visitors. We are a church that displays the gospel on purpose. This helps our families to shape their family worship. A church's worship service should be a template for the way their families do worship at home. In our church covenant, we commit to having family devotions and what is helpful is that our worship service gives our members an example of how to practically do that at home.

Congregational worship breaks us of self-centeredness.

God doesn’t need our worship, but our duty as His creation is to praise Him. There is a popular worship song that hints at God’s need to be worshipped therefore He created us. Can we say that God didn’t want Heaven without us and also affirm God’s aseity?  I don’t believe so. Before the creation of humanity, the Trinity was fully satisfied without us. God did not create us in order for Him to feel better about Himself. We were created for His glory. This should have a direct impact on our approach of worshipping Him. Churches (both attractional and traditional) are driven on having the right formula of creating a real worship experience. We cannot point to the style of worship and say that is the right way to worship God. God doesn’t point to a style, but the Spirit. In John 4:23-24 Jesus says, “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Congregational worship should not be dependent on creating an experience that your congregation wants. We idolatrize the worship of God when we limit it to what we want. Instead, we should let the authority of His Word determine how we worship Him.