Archive | October, 2012

If God hated their worship, could he hate ours too? (Check out the podcast!)

16 Oct

So God hates worship services.  The quotes affirming this in my previous post are from the prophecy of Amos.  God isn’t mixing any words.  It was a rather wealthy era in Israel’s history, and they were living it up.  To be specific, this was during the years when Israel was split north (Israel) and south (Judah).  Amos’ prophecy is mostly for the north.  Why did God hate their worship?  What were they doing wrong?  I urge you to read the prophecy and listen to the podcast.

(And just for fun, see if you can find the mistake I made in the sermon!)

For me the key question as I studied this was, if God hated the worship of the Israelites in Amos’ day, might he also hate worship that happens at Faith Church?  If so, why?  What caused him to hate worship then, and is that happening again today?  What can we do about it?  Let’s discuss this!

How to have worship services that God doesn’t hate.

12 Oct

It’s true. He says so. God hates worship services. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:

“I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.”

But then, almost as if he wants to really injure us, he says he hates the music too. I’m serious:

“Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.”

Think about all the time, energy and money we put into singing in worship. God calls it noise. He says he will not listen to it.

I’m interested in your thoughts. Do you believe God would say this? And why?

This Sunday we learn to have worship services that God doesn’t hate…have any suggestions of what we should do in worship services so he might like our songs?

Church has left the building

8 Oct

Yesterday was a big day for Faith Church.  We left our building.

About a month ago I put a message on our outdoor sign that said “This church will leave the building Oct. 7”.  I never imagined the response we would get.  In the first week one couple that is a part of our church family got a distraught phone call from the husband’s father who lives in Harrisburg, “What is going on with Faith Church, and why haven’t you told me about this?”  A friend of his, who knew his son and daughter-in-law are a part of our church, drove by, saw the sign and called him.  Then neighbors started getting in touch.  “Why are you leaving?”  “Are you closing?”  Two church groups looking for a building approached us about purchasing ours.  Some people from our own church started feeling nervous about the impression we were giving.  They started making me feel nervous.

Then a few days before Oct. 7 the Pennysaver article came out.

What was leaving the building all about?  I hope you’ll read the article linked above, but let me explain.  Yesterday Faith Church, instead of having a worship service in our sanctuary, ventured out into the community, inspired by the love of Christ, to worship the Lord by serving the community.  About 75 people worked on numerous projects.  The church came together and the impact was palpable.  We washed all the local police department‘s cruisers (thanks to Highland Car Wash for donating their self-serve bays and supplies), did childcare, made a lunch, cleaned one of the local Homes of Hope (transitional housing for homeless families), cleaned up at the local community park and the local elementary school, visited one of our shut-in ladies (holding a worship service in her home!), and those unable to work, remained behind to pray and then assembled a mailing for Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services (a great org addressing the serious issue of homelessness in our school district).  It was an amazing morning.

From the early pictures we’ve received, this is one of my favorite: a group of our elementary-age students working hard doing clean-up at their school!

We met back in our fellowship hall for a delicious lunch and a time of celebration afterward.  People shared numerous stories about their morning, and it was inspiring!

So I’d be interested in hearing from you:

Did you participate?  What stories do you have from the morning?

Or maybe you’re not part of a church family. Maybe you have serious doubts about faith and church. Does it make any difference to you that a church would give up a worship service to follow the teaching of Jesus to “love neighbor”?

For those who are a part of Faith Church, how will you worship the Lord by serving in an ongoing way?  We have a worship service 1 hour each week.  If that’s all worship amounts to, it’s a rather anemic expression of serving God, wouldn’t you agree?  So how are you going to expand worship?

Yes, Faith Church will be back in the building this coming Sunday morning, but only for a few hours.  The rest of the week, for many more hours, our worship will continue outside the building.