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Loving God

Genuine worship is the relationship aspect of how people are to love God.  As the Apostle Paul sought to instruct the early churches in how to live the Christian life, the nature of genuine worship is abundant in his writings.  In his instructions, the apostle exhorts believers to be involved in worship on two levels.  First, to concentrate on the Lord God, bringing Him glory and recognizing our identity in Him through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Second, that identity is to be reflected in everyday living.  This is exemplified in Colossians 3:1-4:  "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

This passage can be used to explain how genuine worship can be a part of the life of the believer.  In concentrated worship, the believer sets his or her mind on the things of heaven, which causes the things of this world to fade away.  In living worship, the believer then takes the work of God in his heart and mind and reflects it out to the world through everyday life, which reflects Colossians 3:17: "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."  Again, this idea is reflected in Romans 12:1:  "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."

In the 9 purposes of WC Life, the purpose of Worship is primarily concerned with the concentrated form of worship, which seeks to set the mind of the believer on things above, seeking the Lord's face, and being conformed into His likeness.  The aspect of worship to be called "living worship" is found throughout the other 8 purposes of WC Life.

Concentrated worship is both public and private.  Concentrated worship would include all of the spiritual disciplines that Richard Foster calls "Inward Disciplines" in his book, Celebration of Discipline, as well as the disciplines he calls "Corporate Disciplines."  These disciplines include meditation, prayer, fasting, and study, as well as confession, worship, guidance, and celebration, respectively.  I would contend that there are many activities that are generally considered corporate acts of worship from which the Christian would reap great benefit by practicing on a personal, private level.  The public worship experience is greatly enhanced by a quality personal life of worship. 

At Worship Community, the priority in all things is worship.  Worship is "worth-ship," which in the end means to give and express to God His true and genuine worth.  As Christians seek to express to God His full worth, they will seek to understand Him more fully through spending time with Him.  Ultimately, worship is the primary manner in which people can build a relationship with the Lord God Almighty.  A fuller understanding of the ways in which Worship Community will seek to make this a reality in the lives of people is given elsewhere in the vision for Worship Community

Genuine discipleship is the first bridge-point between concentrated worship and living worship.  It is also the education aspect of loving God.  The last exhortation the Lord Jesus gave to his disciples was to "Go and make disciples of all nations . . ." (Matthew 5:19).  First of all, there is a clear and definitive missionary mandate in this verse, which calls us to go to all peoples of the earth.  However, in respect to this discussion, our purpose for going to all peoples is to make disciples of them.  

A disciple is "one who receives instruction from another" or "an adherent of a school, as in art or philosophy."  These definitions imply education.  A disciple is one who follows another.  To disciple someone is to teach them about the one being followed, and his or her life, teachings, philosophies, and beliefs.  The Christian is a disciple of Christ Jesus.  Worship Community's task in the discipleship process is to teach people about Christ, what he has done, what he taught, and what he believed about himself.  Ultimately, the task is to turn people into followers of Jesus as a result of his sacrificial, atoning death on the cross, which brought life and peace to the earth through God's grace, mercy, and loving-kindness.

Ministry continues the crossover between concentrated worship and living worship by involving each individual Christian in a specific activity in this world which furthers the Kingdom of God.  Ministry is an act of worship which is an overflow of the heart in the power of the Holy Spirit.  In Romans 12, where Paul exhorts believers to live their lives as a spiritual act of worship, he explains how to accomplish this by encouraging believers to use their spiritual gifts.  To be a Christian is to be a part of the body. Any organ in the body that fails to operate becomes a burden on the rest of the body. By becoming active in ministry, the Christian solidifies his or her relationship with God by obeying His commands, as well as by conforming the actions of his or her life into the likeness of Christ (John 15:10; 1 John 2:3-6).

Ministry is an extremely high priority for Worship Community.  A relationship with God is not complete without a reflection in ministry.  For this reason, Paul includes the well known "love chapter" of 1 Corinthians 13 between two chapters of extensive instruction about using spiritual gifts in the context of the local church.  Genuine ministry does not take place without love, and genuine love is highly questionable without ministry (1 Cor 13; James 2:14-26).

9 Purposes of WC Life
Loving other believers
Loving unbelievers

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The WC model is an ongoing process and will be under development for several years. Check back often to see the growing vision and detailed plans for how the vision will be carried out.

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