Archive for March, 2011

Mar 21 2011

In my last post, I discussed the deeper side of John Robert Stevens’ teaching on worship. This week I wanted to share a humorous quote about the same topic.

A service has missed its point when you wish you could crawl off in a corner someplace by yourself because you are being distracted from the Lord. Have you ever been in a worship service where you felt you would like to get away from it so that you could meet with God?*

The context of this quote is the idea that we can’t make a habit out of our worship. The moment we start singing a song by rote is the moment we’ve lost our focus on the Father. That’s a very simple and important principle that we should all be very aware of about our attitude toward worship, and I love John’s sense of humor about it.

If you feel like you’ve got to leave a church service in order to meet God, something is not quite right! However, correcting this issue is every person’s responsibility in a service, because together we all create the atmosphere to worship our Father.

  • *John Robert Stevens, "Are You Aware of Him?" 1982
    *John Robert Stevens, "Are You Aware of Him?" 1982
    Excerpt from the This Week "Are You Aware of Him?" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1982 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Mar 17 2011

Leading a Church Service

I have been working on a class for Shiloh University recently called Leading a Church Service. We are using a great deal of material from John Robert Stevens to form the curricula, and it is being such a cool exposure to the depth of understanding that John had regarding how to lead people into the presence of the Lord. Repeatedly, in numerous instances, he emphasizes that the goal of the leader of a church service is to bring the people in the presence of the Lord. The focus should never be on the leader, but on the congregation’s relationship with the Father.

Currently, I am writing on the lesson concerning leading worship. I found this great quote from John in the assigned material:

So much of worship is based upon the Scriptures that give us access to God. Worship is not a struggle into His presence. Worship is a faith that stands in His presence because He has made a living way of access for us to do so (Hebrews 10:19-22). Worship becomes bold, but very reverent.*

When I read this, I couldn’t help but feel so clearly how much struggle we usually put into our worship. We feel like we have to strive to get into the presence of the Father. But this is in direct opposition to the Scripture referenced here:

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way . . . and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith . . . (Hebrews 10:19-22a)

The carefully chosen words here reveal how we should truly feel toward the Father: confident in our relationship with Him, in full assurance of faith in His love and acceptance of us. This is the basis of our worship, according to John Robert Stevens: the knowledge that we have access to the Father. When we approach worship from that perspective, we find a new reality of His presence.

  • *John Robert Stevens, "Are You Aware of Him?" 1982
    *John Robert Stevens, "Are You Aware of Him?" 1982
    Excerpt from the This Week "Are You Aware of Him?" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1982 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.