What makes Christian public worship unique?


Tomorrow we're going to tell you the name of the Pantops Church Plant.

Watch your inbox on Thursday (August 3) for the big reveal!

I've written about what it means to disciple the skeptic & evangelize the believer. Yesterday, it was a brief thought about the Bible, the Word of God, that He uses to reveal Himself to us.

Today, consider something that goes hand in hand with the Bible - the sacraments (baptism and the Lord's Supper).

Public worship is the place where the Bible and the sacraments go hand in hand.

For years the two things that happened in every Christian church on Sunday were the preaching of the Word and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Some churches still do both every Sunday. Others emphasize (or over-emphasize) one or the other. 

But preaching and the sacraments belong together in Christian worship. That's what sets Christian worship apart from other kinds community gatherings.

Many people today are looking for spiritual connection in casual, yet spiritual, communities.

Part of having the good life is having a spiritual side. Maybe this has led you to try Crossfit, or SoulCycle, or transcendental meditation? You have a bowling league, or you bowl alone. Maybe your shop class is soulcraft? You've found different groups and you realize that each group, while being spiritual to some degree, has distinctive things about it that create the community.

Christian worship is distinct, too.

Maybe you thought Christian worship was distinct because of certain music, or certain dress codes, or certain types of people? But then, how would Christian worship be any different than shop class, SoulCycle, or Yoga?

Christian worship has been distinct throughout time because of two things: the part of worship where the Bible is preached, and the part of worship where the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is celebrated. At times this has been known as the service of the Word and the service of the Table.

Unique spiritual communities that gather together to express their distinctives predates Christianity. In other words, people have been worshiping for a long time. The followers of Jesus didn't invent worship.

But they did something distinctive when they oriented their worship around the unique person and work of Jesus Christ.

Who Jesus is and what He did are described in the Bible, but like all good stories, this requires telling and retelling. That's why worship involves preaching. What He did and who He is engage people at the core of their being and encountering Jesus requires some kind of response. That's why celebrating the Lord's Supper and baptism belong in worship, too. 

The Bible and the two sacraments given to the church by Jesus go hand in hand. 

If you're looking for a distinct spiritual community, these are the things that set apart Christian spirituality from all other spiritual communities, world religions, and faith groups.

Does this raise more questions than it answers? Why not check out Christian worship in our community? 

Take the opportunity to find out about Jesus by experiencing him in worship through the service of the Word and the service of the Table.