Some of you have noticed that the elders have been doing the “call to worship” on Sunday mornings, and have asked us ‘why the change?’ We thought we should let you know what our plan is (a couple of you thought so too–thanks for the nudge).
The “call to worship” is really intended to be a short moment at the open of our corporate worship service where our minds, through biblical truth, are directed toward the glories of God in Christ, and away from ourselves (and others . . . and the clutter of life in general). Over the years it had kind of grown into a “mini bible study” presentation, often going longer than the intended time-slot. While the content and encourgements were generally good, the inconsistency of length makes it very difficult to plan and arrange the other aspects of the Sunday morning corporate worship. The “call to worship” was never intended to be a 3-point Bible lesson, with applications. Because this became a frequent example (more common than not), many of the men did not want to participate, thinking that they would not be able to prepare anything “worthy” of being a “call to worship.”
We have tried a number of things over the years to help prevent or curb this frequent pattern. We have a ‘guideline booklet’ that was either not being used, or not being paid attention to. We tried sending short email reminders of the purpose, goal, and approach for participating in this ministry. We have had personal conversations with many of you who participate in this ministry. We have been involved in the preparation process with some of you. All of these things have helped, but not really accomplished the goal of setting a consistent pattern, both for time and content.
So after some careful consideration of the issues, the elders thought it would be most helpful for us and for you, to simply set an example to follow. So, that is what we are trying to do over the next few months or so. We would like to show you how simple, helpful, and encouraging a brief but pithy call to worship can be. And we hope to demonstrate for everyone how focused we can become with a short bible reading, and a few pointed comments that focus our attention on a particular aspect of God’s character, person, power or work of salvation.
We are hoping that seeing this regular pattern of simple, direct, bible reading and brief reflection (over a longer period of time) will help those of you who encourage others through this ministry to imitate our example. And, more importantly, we want some of you men who haven’t wanted to participate, to see how simple and encouraging it can be, so that you will jump in too. We want to benefit from your brief reflections on the character and work of Christ too!
Our plan is to do this for a few more months, and then transition back to a pattern of having other men initiate our worship, and to lead us all into that experience by “calling” us to focus on Christ and His work through the Scriptures.
I think this addresses the questions that I have been asked, or that have made their way to me through others. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to talk to Eric, Jon or me.