I’d like to share with you my vision for how and why we worship together at our Central Gathering on Sunday mornings. This is not a thesis or intended to be a complete, detailed commentary, but simply an overview and conversational description of what’s on my heart as I get started as one of your pastors.
In one word…CELEBRATION. Please join me in the vision. You can start by reading the following passage — Exodus 15:1-21, it’s the first Psalm in the Bible, an old testament picture of worship.
At Mercy Road we have a culture of GROUPS that we call Missional Communities. These groups actively “do” ministry during the week. We are in biblical community, worshiping, praying, teaching, studying, serving on mission, etc. during the week…intentionally remembering the UP-IN-OUT in our rhythm of life together. With that in mind, our Sunday morning Central Gathering should be about how God has blessed and provided during the week prior to our scheduled Central Gathering. In other words, let’s use this time to CELEBRATE and unite as a local church around who God is and the blessings of living the way of Jesus in our community.
To further explain…and not to sound negative, but to provide clarity…I do not want our church family to make Sunday morning a “1-stop shop” experience. Unfortunately I think today’s church culture lives in that philosophy, sometimes unknowingly, and that can be crippling to a missional culture. It is true that being together can/will create a spiritual boost to enter another week. We hear the truth of scripture and look forward to living that out. We hear a new song and can’t wait to share that with a friend or sing it in the car. So don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be controlling with your worship experience…this is just sharing my heart with you and providing you with a vision of CELEBRATION!
There will be times of reflection and solitude during some of the Central Gatherings. There will be variety in styles, song selection, service order, musicians, leaders, and so on. We worship a creative God and that should always be reflected in our worship. But the main focus that I hope for and encourage you to participate in is CELEBRATION!
Hang on for the ride and expect God to do great things as you are empowered by the Holy Spirit in everyday life.
ONE PERSON, ONE FAMILY, ONE NEIGHBORHOOD, ONE CITY AT A TIME…UNDER ONE GOD OF ALL TIME