For 24 weeks Waypoint has gathered for public worship, and this past Sunday was my favorite.
It’s interesting because if you read all the church planting manuals, if you attend all their conferences, and if you talk with the experienced ones…what happened at Waypoint this past Sunday was what you are not to do during the first year. But I earnestly and honestly believe that this past Sunday was my favorite Sunday as the minister of Waypoint Community Church…and I wasn’t even there–actually it was precisely because I was not there.
Reading the tweets, having lunch with worshippers, listing to the post-worship conversations, I am excited about what God is doing in our community.
I was not in worship on Sunday, not because I had some speaking engagement or trip. I was not in worship on Sunday because the message was that through Christ we no longer need a mediator or a professional religious person to do what we are supposed to be doing ourself. Church is too often a crutch for a faith that is supposed to be lived out daily. And us preachers can often get it in our heads that we have to be at center of it all.
A few years ago, I heard about a famous preacher who was getting a lot of flack because everyone was claiming that it was a personality driven church where people were coming to worship him. So he devised a worship experience to show that it wasn’t about him. He had all of the volunteers take that Sunday off, and then he stood up and started his message “See, without them, it has been a pretty bad worship experience?” But then proceeded to preach and teach and worship went on. For me, his illustration misfired. He should have taken the Sunday off; and highlighted for the community that even apart from his message they could worship God.
So I am grateful for the worship leaders like Rudy who helped coordinate the gear and setup. For Ned and Laura who led musically. For Katie who welcomed and Brad who taught, and Carol who shared her heart, and the people who pointed to God at work in their life, and Jim who hit the spacebar. For Nicole who taught the Gospel and cared for the kids of BaseCamp. And every single one of the 65 people who converged for worship of God at Waypoint this past Sunday, because this is the mission we have been called to: equipping and sending us to live out the gospel in our places of influence.
But, again, don’t take my word for it.
So now I want to show my favorite picture of Waypoint worshipping.
Again I am not joking. This picture excites me because it says that the folks of Waypoint are not huddling up, but out on the streets, in the schools, in the cubicles, in the fields, in the gloom, in the cafeteria, on the bus living out their faith.
As the Message translation captures Romans 12:1-2 this is my prayer for you:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
So, while yes, I will be back at worship on Sunday…I am looking forward to you participating with me in the worship of Jesus Christ.