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What’s the PRIMARY Goal of a Church Service?

I know, I know, brilliant question and a question that has never been asked before! (Insert sarcasm here.)

As I look back through the history of the church from Old Testament to New Testament, it appears we may have church all wrong, or at least partly wrong.

Let’s take a look at the Old Testament church. There are a few very distinct features concerning the temple/church. There were outer courts and inner courts. Let’s focus on the inner courts for a moment. The high priest would go into the inner courts, with bells on and a rope tied around his leg in the event he was struck dead by God for being unclean/or with sin. OK, he makes it into the inner courts and what do we find there? The ark of the covenant! No, Indiana Jones was not there too. What do we find in the ark of the covenant? Aaron’s staff/rod, a jar of manna, the 10 Commandments and most importantly the presence of God, the Holy Spirit in all of His awestruck wonder (Exodus 25:10-22)! What was the high priest’s responsibility in going into the Holy of Holies or the inner court? It was to offer a sacrifice of praise, an animal offering, a sacrifice for the atonement of sins to God.

Now, flash forward to the New Testament Church. THANK GOD, Jesus came and offered Himself on our behalf, taking our sins and washing us clean by the shedding of His blood on the cross. AND, most importantly, rising from the dead on the third day. His actions tore the temple veil in two and opened up to us direct access to our Father in Heaven.

So, what are the common threads between the Old and New Testaments? I’m glad you asked! From what I can gather/understand/put together, the church was created for believers to come together to worship, directly, our God and our Savior Christ Jesus the Lord of Hosts. Old Testament worship was offering sacrifices on the altar to God. New Testament worship is offering ourselves as a sacrifice of praise to Jesus.

Where in scripture does is state that the church was created to be an evangelistic tool? Please read that question again. … It’s an honest question. No sarcasm here. Where does it state that the purpose of the church/temple is to be an evangelistic tool? Make sure you understand my question fully before you start writing something mean below! I know scripture teaches about teaching the scriptures, but where does it say that the church is to be set up to be an evangelistic tool, seeker sensitive or any other term we can create? Isn’t the Great Commission to GO? Or is the Great Commission bring them to church and let the pastor get them saved? Or perhaps the Great Commission is to merely hope the lost will come to church on their own?

The only thing that I can see the church was created for was for believers to come together to worship God. You know, like the seven most common Hebrew words for praise kind of worship: Halal, Yadah, Towdah, Shabach, Barak, Zamar, Tehillah, that kind of praise. Is it musical, sure. Is it not musical, sure. Is it physical, absolutely! Is it loud, or it certainly can be. Do we engage mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally? Definitely. I think the thing we must realize is that it all, all of it, requires action by us. We are now the sacrifice of praise and HE deserves all the praise. It’s not the worship leader’s job to worship for us, just like it’s not the pastor’s job to save the lost. It all falls on us, pastors, teachers, musicians, dancers, prayer warriors, media personnel, admins, youth leaders … all believers together must GO! We are the believers and the church was created for believers to come together and worship God.

Maybe, just maybe, the way we do church is all backwards. Maybe the emphasis is supposed to be on coming together to worship, focusing on Him and lifting Him up, exalting His name, blessing Him, adoring Him, praising Him … not focusing on us or what we get out of it!

Am I missing something here?

Now, before you start commenting below, please take just a moment to consider what you say. This article isn’t about my opinion. I am genuinely trying to figure out how church is truly to be done, according to scripture, so please back up your comments with scripture, not opinion. Be nice; I would appreciate positive comments please, nothing hateful or off-topic.  

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GaryMiller@churchleaders.com'
God has blessed me with over 27 years of worship leading experience. I am the Co-Founder and Executive Director of www.WorshipMinistry.com and also serve on the Steering Committee of the Experience Conference, a national conference for worship leaders held annually in Orlando, Florida.