A Call to Worship
Worship is at the heart of church life. We gather every Sunday to sing songs, read Scripture, pray prayers, give tithes and offerings, and listen to sermons. Worship at Forest Hills usually takes on two distinct forms, with one service in the sanctuary and another in the fellowship hall. Each service meets different needs and connects with different people, and yet, we occasionally combine our services.
Combined worship happens for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we combine our two worship services as a way of responding to a particular matter in our church life. The most recent combined service was designed for our “Leadership Sunday,” in which we installed and commissioned our lay leaders and deacons for 2019.
There are other times when the calendar pushes us to combine our services. Many people travel away from church on the July Fourth and Labor Day weekends. Attendance typically dips during these holidays, which often demands for one service, instead of two.
There are still other times when we gather together to celebrate the great diversity within our church family through our “Mosaic” services. These are memorable services because of the presence of our language partner congregations. This year we are planning two such services: one in March and one in September.
Some challenges certainly arise when we combine worship services. It is not always easy to blend together a number of different elements into a single service. And yet, there is great beauty when we come together. I am grateful for the variety of ways I see people praising and worshiping God, and combined worship always reminds me of the vast ways the Holy Spirit is moving and speaking to people.
No matter the form, worship is a vital part of our discipleship, though we should not limit worship to what happens on Sunday mornings. Our worship of God should never be confined to just the hour we gather together because we can praise God every day with our lives. Our thoughts, words, and actions can all be ways we worship the Lord.
The apostle Paul expresses a similar thought in Romans 12:1, where he exhorts us to present our bodies “as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” My encouragement to you is to worship the Lord in all you do, in every moment of every day.