“For as the soil makes the sprout come up, and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”
// Isaiah 61:11
Having been part of C3 Brooklyn this past year, I have realized the benefit of being yoked with other people in worship. For example, if there is a week when I am faced with temptation to give up, I think about the relationships I have forged at church, and how my success or failure would affect the people I love. In those moments, God reminds me that my life is connected to other people, and that my choices are not made within a vacuum. This encourages me to fight harder, knowing that I am surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses”. It blows my mind to think that God actually wants to co-labor with me in strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ.
Another thing I’ve noticed is the change that took place when we started holding weekly worship services in September 2013. Specifically, I noticed that corporate worship started softening the soil of peoples’ hearts, and relationships and interactions reached new depths. In a new church plant, with all-new relationships, corporate worship reinforced that this is a safe place with God at the center. Just like Isaiah 61 illustrates, as we reach a new level of transparency before God and each other, God made “righteousness and praise spring up before all nations”. That growth will continue for generations, and worship will remain the driving force.
Gathering challenges us – in a good way.
Have you ever been at church and observed someone who is (seemingly) more passionate about God than you are, and it makes you uncomfortable? I assure you, it’s not a bad thing! Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses community to highlight an area of your heart that He wants to upgrade. If you see someone worshiping more passionately than you, don’t be discouraged. Press into God, and ask him why you’re not more passionate, and in His kindness He will make it clear. You will experience an ‘upgrade’ in your worship. You will discover more joy and freedom than you thought possible.
Father God, I thank you that you created us to love and to be loved within community. I pray that you would give us opportunities this week to encourage each other to elevate our worship in every area of our lives. Amen!
// Mick Bouschor