Spiritual Life of the Leader - Lesson 19

Leaders and the Importance of Worship

If you are following Jesus, you have a role as a leader. If a spiritual leader does not understand what their task is according to scripture, then their spiritual life is not going to have the focus the Lord wants them to have.  Worship is a response of the love that has been shown to us. Worship involves our all aspects of us and is enabled by God’s Spirit. We worship God because of who he is. By looking at Jesus, you see who God is.

Stephen Martyn
Spiritual Life of the Leader
Lesson 19
Watching Now
Leaders and the Importance of Worship

Leaders and the Importance of Worship

I. Who is a Leader?

A. Discipleship in the Church today

B. Spiritual leaders couldn't articulate qualities for leadership

II. What did Jesus say was the most important thing?

III. What Comes to Your Mind When You Think of Worship?

A. God is seeking people to worship him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24) (video says 14:24)

B. In heaven, there is no distortion of God

C. God reveals his life and love in your own being

D. Jesus called people to turn away from anything false (Matthew 4:17)

E. The kingdom of heaven has come (Luke 17:21)

IV. Worship Does not Start With Me

A. We worship because of who God is

B. Your primary purpose is to offer God praise and adoration

V. Worship is Essential

A. You need to be drilling down and dwelling in God's Word

B. God is revealed to you in nature

C. God reveals his life and love in your own being

  • Dr. Martyn has surveyed church leaders around the world to understand their responsibilities and pressures. He aims to use his experience to help them develop a model of ministry that encourages spiritual formation, discipleship, and worship in a healthy way. His class is comprehensive on topics such as spiritual formation, discipleship, leadership principles, and worship. Listening to this class could benefit anyone regardless of whether they have an official leadership position or not.
  • Christian activism is Christians seeking to be involved in the issues and needs of the day and time. Wesleyans in the 1700's in England sought to minister to people that others didn’t care about. To be called by Christ is to be called into the body of Christ. A biblical model is that every member is a full-fledged minister of the gospel without distinction between clergy and laity. 

  • Mysticism can be described as the direct communication of your spirit with the Divine Spirit as taught and illustrated in the New Testament as a fundamental part of Christian belief. Receptivity means that I am open to what the Lord is saying to me through the revelation of his word, the magnificence of his son and the voice of his Spirit which is consistent with the written word. The church was emphasizing what they were doing for God rather than on first listening to what God wants us to be and then acting. Union with our Lord must come before any type of donation or work (kenosis) for our Lord. (Download the complete text of the sermon by clicking on the link on this page or under the Downloads heading on the class page.)

  • Which do you love more, the Lord or the projects you are doing for him? Is your goal to exalt the Lord or build a personal kingdom? Essence of anxiety is whether or not you can trust God. The question to ask when you begin having feelings of self-pity is, “Is you life going to be defined by how you think it ought to go?”  The blame-shame mindset is that you are unhappy because there is something wrong with the people around you. When you experience these red flags in your ministry, you should recognize it as time that it’s possible that the Lord may be prompting you to make a change in your life.The Mary in you must rest at the feet of Jesus if the Martha in you is to do her work.

  • Essence is who the Lord has created you to be. Biblically, essence precedes existence as oppose to Sartre's teaching that man is no more than what he makes of himself. God has given us the capacity of reception, to be able to hear God’s voice and follow it. The spiritual life that God calls you to live is based on what you receive from God, not on what you do for God.

  • How do you determine if your motives are right in your efforts to serve God? The more gifts and talents we have, the more susceptible we are to self-deception regarding our motives. Resist the urge to make pleasing people your primary motivation. You will never please everyone and in the process you lose sight of focusing on pleasing God. When people have expectations of you that don’t match what God has called you to do, there are times when you must, “let Lazarus die.”

  • God wants us to be faithful to the kingdom and his son and fruitful according to his metrics. What’s the goal and what condition do our hearts need to be in to understand the goal? The Mary in us needs to rest at the feet of Jesus in order for the Martha in us to do her work. Think about when you experienced renewal and think about when you were blessed. When you have received God’s blessing, how has that resulted in demonstrating his hand of mercy to someone else? How are your activities balanced?

  • A canal simultaneously pours out what it receives. A reservoir waits till it’s filled then discharges water without loss to itself. Today, there are many in God’s church that act like canals. The reservoirs are far too rare. So urgent is the charity of those through whom heavenly doctrine flows that they want to pour it forth to us before they have been filled. They are more ready to speak than to listen, impatient to teach what they have not grasped, and full of presumption to govern others while they know not how to govern themselves. High mountain lakes have one stream out and water level relatively constant throughout the year. How is the water level staying constant in your life? Depletion results in erosion of presence, and results in just going through the motions. 

  • The Lord desires that we live dispositionally. Important elements include loving God, living devotionally, relational strengthening, vocational serving (listening with the intent of following what I hear). Dallas Willard wrote, “If I am a disciple of Jesus, I am with him to learn from him, how to be like him." The primary calling of a pastor is to follow Jesus, within the calling of leading a church. 

  • The eight deadly sins are in the order that Satan uses to try to get us and in the order in which we need redemption. Gormandize means you are overdoing it and being a slave to flesh. Fornication refers to a wandering heart and seeking to devour others. Avarice is the love of money and sometimes is a fear of not having enough. Anger is a rancorous spirit. The spiritual cancer of depreciation is looking at the vast horizon of God’s goodness in his creation and my life and depreciating it, only seeing what’s wrong. Psalm 51:10-12, create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.

  • When you experience a difficult situation, how do you begin to turn your focus away from the negative and on to what God is doing? How do you respond when you are working closely with people that don't like you? What do you do as a leader when there is a person that is angry with you and disagrees with how you are leading?

  • The sin of acedia is, “I don’t care anymore.” The sin of tristitia is sadness, wrongly processing suffering and loss, allowing the soul to close in on itself and refuse instruction from God. Tristitia is neither a result of other people or of our outward circumstances. Satan wants to get us off the track in stupid presumption or in sinful carelessnenss. God redeems the hurt that evil has done.

  • In the early church passion was seen as something that controlled you and out of control and leading you astray, not a positive motivation. John Cassion described vainglory as passion to take pleasure in our own qualities. The danger is that we take credit for what God is doing. In pursuit of being popular, we often sacrifice who we are at the core. Pride is the original vice from which all others spring. Pride can develop into functioning atheism. The cure for pride is to have the humility of Jesus in our heart. 

  • Is there a sin that's not deadly? To what extent can you worry about something before it becomes a sin? What does it take to overcome gluttony? The minute you make an exception for yourself, you either presume on the grace of God or break a known law of God. Admit what you are feeling and submit it to God to have faith in him in the situation, then do your part.

  • Instead of gluttony, we see temperance. Temperance means living a balanced life. Chaste love is extending love to others, not preying on them. Poverty of spirit rather than greed. Cultivate meekness to deal with anger. You have been forgiven much so you should be willing to forgive others much. Cultivate faith, hope and love to deal with hopelessness. Cultivate humility to deal with vainglory. Evangelism in the first 300 years a result of the quality of the lives of disciples as they lived in a hostile environment. 

  • A transcendent crisis is yearning for the “more than.” “Is life meaningful?” “Is God good?” Can I trust my life to God or have I been abandoned by God? An idolatry crisis happens when you run after a passion rather than pursue God. Each person in your sphere of influence is going through crises in their own lives. God can use a crisis to help something in us die so we can experience and share the light of Christ.

  • To feed the 5,000, the disciples had to rely on Jesus because they didn’t have the resources. Jesus walked out on the water to comfort the disciples with his presence. The disciples thought they were going to die a terrible death. If you choose to think your situation, the church and others are hopeless, it results in ego desperation, or hopelessness. You see what’s wrong, you think you have exhausted your resources and you see no way that it’s going to get fixed. If you allow the crisis to take you into the life of Christ and dependence on him, it will not destroy you. 

  • It's important for us to understand how our relationship with God is affected by being born at a certain period of time and in a certain society. The vital is the physical dimension of the human life. Vitalism is where your physical pleasures become the priority in your life.  Functional is the roles, tasks and responsibilities we take on. It’s a problem when we allow our roles and responsibilities to define us, which is functionalism. Transcendent is the longing for the “more than.” Pneumatic/Ecclesial level is the capacity the Lord has given each of us to hear and respond to the Holy Spirit, God’s voice. When ambition gets separated from the leading of the Spirit, it can become self-promotion. Functional Transcendence is you using the things of God for self-gain.

  • It's important to keep Christ at the center of who you are. Interiority includes memory, intellect, will. Augustine says will is most important.In addition to our personal thoughts, we exist in community with others who are submitting their lives to the will of Christ. The Lord has placed us in a certain place and time and wants you to live a life of obedience in that context every day, not just one day a week. The Father is seeking to form your life into the image of Christ as you were meant to be. Through our experiences, God forms you into a unique person. On the relational side, this results in compassion for others because we love others with the same love we experienced. God gives us confidence that he has given us the gifts and resources we need to live out the calling he has given us. Competence that our ministry will be effective. Our courage comes from trusting in the strength of the Lord. Community, the work of God’s Church is a work done with others. Confirmation comes internally from God and externally from the community of faith. 

  • If you are following Jesus, you have a role as a leader. If a spiritual leader does not understand what their task is according to scripture, then their spiritual life is not going to have the focus the Lord wants them to have.  Worship is a response of the love that has been shown to us. Worship involves our all aspects of us and is enabled by God’s Spirit. We worship God because of who he is. By looking at Jesus, you see who God is.

  • The Church needs you to present what Scripture says, not your own ideas. Worship means to kneel before someone out of respect or honor. We owe it to God as an act of service to sit at his feet and worship him. Spiritual worship is to place our physical bodies at God’s disposal. Are we leading people to worship God, or just providing religious goods and services to them? Solid biblical teaching is important. Structure follows purpose. We are failing to dig down into the revelation of God and let the revelation of God set the compass. If you are not careful, your program sets your agenda.

  • Movements in worship: 1. kneeling in acts of loving worship. Kneeling in submission before God to acknowledge that you are dependent on him. 2. Exalting God by declaring his worthiness 3. Receiving God’s life symbolized by the sacrament of communion. 4. Empowers us and encourages us to go out and serve. We participate in the fellowship and life of the Trinity. We need to immerse ourselves in relationship to God and let that inform and empower what we do so that our worship service is more than creating an experience or transmitting information. Be explicit about your purpose in worship and include prayer.

  • The elders fall before the throne, they worship the Lord and they cast their crowns before him. Falling before the throne represents an acknowledging of God as absolute deity. What is going to happen in the future tells us what we should be doing now. When we fall down before the throne, our heart condition is inward humility and submission to the Lord. Then they raise up and exalt the Lord by proclaiming his worth. Inward love results in proclaiming what is right, good, just and holy. Taking of crowns is an outward expression of placing everything we have under the Lordship of Christ and an inward movement of total abandonment of everything we are to God.

  • The call of Jesus to, “follow me” is the call to redirect everything in our lives. A disciple is one who seeks to fulfill the will of the father by actively following Jesus the Son while continually depending on the Holy Spirit for guidance and strength. Faith is my trust in Jesus as well as the content of the Gospel. Practice is putting it into play. Catechism is the content of the faith, and catechesis is how you express it. Cheap grace is not biblical because it allows for justification without ensuing discipleship. Primary purposes of the church are to proclaim the Gospel, worship and make disciples. In addition to knowing the content, you must live it out. Clergy need to learn how to make and train disciples. Laity must be fully committed full-time ministers of the body of Christ.

  • Movements that are necessary for the church today to fulfill what God is calling them to do. For the clergy, 1. moving from pastor as the primary minister to each believer fulfilling their calling as full-time ministers in their spheres of influence; 2. Moving from preaching only to not only appropriate sermon preparation time but also discipling a core group; 3. Moving from a priority on numbers to staying with a process that results in mature disciples; 4. From solo leadership to team leadership. Discipleship should not be optional. Old Christendom model is breaking down but confusion on who and what we are called to be. “Is my first aim to make disciples, or do I just run an operation?” For the laity, 1. From going to church to being Church; 2. From expecting benefits from Christianity requiring no sustained effort to being intent on being disciples; 3. From being passive observers to full-time ministers. Primary purpose of leader is to equip the people of God to do the work of God.

  • The sermon is a critical part of the discipleship process. The “through” movement is the process of the “from-to” movement. Each of these steps must be contextualized to your situation. We are aiming for maturity in Christ. As a leader, you love the whole but you only disciple the few. Don’t neglect public proclamation but don’t see that as the end of your ministry. Daily pray, read scripture, weekly services, small groups acts of service, fasting, giving. Discipleship is helping people integrate the word of God into their lives.

  • Tozer says we don’t have the right of choosing Jesus as Savior and postponing our obedience. Dispositions are something that’s part of your daily life. Christian disciplines help us to love God and love our neighbor. Encourage people to seek God’s direction for where he wants them to serve. The biblical model is that mature Christians will live as disciplined followers. Make it a goal for pure love to fill your heart and govern your words and actions.

What do you think the priorities should be for a leader in the Church? How do you cultivate your personal spiritual life in a way that keeps you emotionally healthy and helps you avoid choosing sin? What is your measure of success for your church? How does that compare with a biblical measure of success? What is a disciple? What should the process of discipleship look like? What principles can you learn from the way Jesus interacted with his followers that will help you to encourage spiritual formation of the people in your sphere of influence? What are sins that people in leadership have commonly struggled with over the past 2,000 years? How do you recognize them in your own life and what are some practical ways to avoid them or repent and recover from them? What is the essence of worship? How do you live your life so you are worshipping God authentically in everything you do? How do you lead worship in a group setting in a way that encourages others to worship authentically? 

These are a few of the questions that Dr. Martyn poses to begin a conversation regarding the subject of the spiritual life of the leader. As a pastor for more than 20 years, Dr. Martyn asked and answered these questions in the context of loving and serving people personally. As part of his current position of teaching future pastors at Asbury seminary, he and some of his colleagues have conducted extensive surveys of church leaders throughout the North America and the world to get a better understanding of the responsibilities and pressures that church leaders face every day. His goal is to be able to understand biblical principles and use his experience to help leaders develop a model of ministry that helps them develop their personal spiritual life and give them a model to disciple and encourage the people they work with in a way that is healthy and encourages their faith and practice. 

Whether you have an official leadership position or not, you will benefit from listening to this class. It is one of the most comprehensive classes on spiritual formation, discipleship, leadership principles and worship that you will ever hear. If you listen and reflect on each of the lectures from beginning to end, you will be glad you did. 

Dr. Stephen Martyn

Spiritual Life of a Leader


Leaders and the Importance of Worship

Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] Well, welcome back to another session and this whole business of the spiritual life of the leader. And listen, just a little qualification as we come back and before we pray. Who's the leader? Look, anybody following Jesus is called to be a leader for his kingdom. Anyone following our Lord is going to be placed or ideally should be open to be plucked, being placed by the Lord Himself in in places of leadership, which is always synonymous with service in the Kingdom. Now, let me let me introduce this this, this section of the teaching before before we pray. Oh six, seven years ago, I really, really felt the Lord tugging my heart to invest whatever days He gave me, remaining in my life to invest them in discipleship. Because I feel like discipleship is is the elephant in the room in the evangelical church across the globe today in that we're we're not taking discipleship seriously in the manner in which I think Christ wants us to take discipleship. And there were others at Astbury Seminary who have the same calling. And then about five years ago, I approached one of my colleagues, Brian Sims, to help me and to join with me because I knew his heart was there. And Brian and I set out literally globally doing interviews. We we interviewed different denominations. We interviewed, I mean, around the globe, but a lot of in North America as well. And we didn't get very far into this thing before realizing that in our interviews with congregational leaders, particularly with pastors, that we had a major issue facing God's church today, and that is the spiritual leaders of the flock could not articulate a biblical, for lack of other terms, job description. Now, let me just qualify that a little bit.


[00:03:03] In other words, what we were finding was no clear understanding of what the word of God has to say to me about my leadership in this local congregation. Now, it shouldn't have been surprising because even in my own leadership in the local congregation, I think I was you know, I wasn't quite as clear. In fact, I know I wasn't quite as clear as I needed to be. But what we found was an alarming lack of understanding of what are what are the the mileposts, you know, what are the great issues that we are to be about. Now, why is that important? It's important because if a spiritual leader does not understand what their task is according to Scripture, then their spiritual life is not going to have the focus that our Lord wants it to have. And without that focus on spiritual leaders, then tend to be like the river that I grew up by in northwest Texas. So the river I grew up by, it's the Red River. Now. The bed of the river is in many places a, you know, half mile, quarter mile wide. Some places it's a mile wide. But at best, during the year, it might have a little trickle of three feet wide and two inches deep. And at most it might have a few inches covering the whole bed. So it's spread out. It's shallow, it's not focused, and you don't have that. Vocational clarity we've been talking about earlier. So I'm I'm really, really concerned about this in the life of the church. So we're going to take a little unusual turn here in this cause we talked about we've talked about anthropology and understanding who we are as a human person, at least a little shallow introduction to anthropology.


[00:05:32] But now I want us to dive into it. Ecclesiology. Now ecclesiology is simply church. What does God want his church to be about? So, Lord, we bowed before you, acknowledging that it is your church and we are your people. We are your bride. We acknowledge that you have formed this church. You have given life to this church. You are literally reforming this church and you are transforming this church to be the beautiful bride of Christ that you intend for it to be. Father, let your Spirit lead us now, both in our thinking and in my directives here and in my thought. We humbly vow before you in all things. Now asking this in Jesus, Holy name our head, our Lord, our love. A man. Now, let me ask you a question to start out. Think about it. What did Jesus say was the single most important thing? Really, It's kind of a good question to ask, and it's a question that my colleague Brian Sims often asks his the groups of people he's working with. Well, I think here's the answer. You'll find it in several places. But if you look in Matthew 22, verses 37 through 40, you'll hear this word he said to them, You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it. You should love your neighbor as yourself on these two commandments. Hang hanger, respect all of the law and the prophets. Now, this business then, between worshiping God and loving God or loving God is the commandment as this and worshiping God start to converge here. Right? Right. At this point in the commandment, worshiping the God, worshiping our God and lit everything that we are and everything that we are about, Wrap around this idea of worship, worship of God.


[00:08:16] Well, now, let me ask you another question. Brian often asked this question as well. What comes to your mind when you think of worship? And I'll even ask our our studio audience here. So just to let it pop out real fast, what comes to your mind when you think of worship first? What do you think of the time? I think of sin you make you think of singing? Absolutely. We sing to the Lord. Anybody else? What? What God's word? Declaring God's word. Well, we just got a bell ringer of an answer. What else? What else? What else pops out when you think about worship? Well, when we ask these questions, you know, the more common are. Many of the common answers will be exactly what Kim had to say. It'll be music or a particular style of music will come out. And really, at this point, let let me just really, really emphasize, I'm not really concerned whether it's traditional, contemporary, blended. That's not the point of of where we're going. You'll see people say, well, there's going to be certain liturgy, there's going to be certain things that we do. We greet each other in worship. There will be a thousand different things that will show up. For some people it will. Certain feelings, you know, they want a high energy or high impact worship where they come out really charged in feeling like they have done or that they've been moved and all of that. For many people, when you talk about worship, they'll also tired into going to a physical building on either Saturday or Sunday or whenever during the week. But now we've got to really get to this point of of thinking that worship has got to be something more than attending a service now and then or having a spiritual feeling.


[00:10:34] There's there's more involved in this than even going to meet other people, though that may that's an important ingredient. Listen, how do you start to live The great invitation that we find throughout the Psalms, throughout Scripture to worship God? How do we live into that? In fact, listen to the call of Jesus, to the Samaritan woman in John 1424 that the father is seeking persons who will worship him, how in spirit and in truth. Exactly In spirit and in truth, what does this mean? So this worship, this type of worship and this invitation to worship implies. That there is a dimension of reality called the Kingdom of God. There's a dimension of reality containing no distortions about God whatsoever in heaven, where the kingdom is full and complete right now. There's no distortions about God, nor any deceptions regarding the good. There's no fake news, let's put it that way. In heaven, None whatsoever. In fact, the very first word of Jesus earthly ministry was for us to turn away from anything that was false, to turn away from anything that was fake. So in Matthew 417, you will hear this first word, it's repent. It's the first word of the gospel for the kingdom of heaven has come near. And this is a kingdom that is ruled by God's righteousness, by his peace, by God's justice. And in this domain of heaven, there is no shadow of deception, no turning of doubt, no tarnish of falsehood whatsoever. So Jesus said, Listen in Luke 1721, big scripture here, big Scripture, that this very kingdom is what its among you. So that God's dwelling place, God's dimension, intersects with us. With this dimension right now it permeates the whole world, including every human life. And so it's not surprising that our Lord calls us to turn away, to repent from anything that separates us from this kingdom and the truth of God's nature.


[00:13:52] Now, this invitation to worship in spirit, in spirit and in truth and listen, this thing reverberates in our lives. There's there's a deep, you know, deep calls to deep here. We have this literal, transcendent longing that we talked about. The true nature of this transcendent longing is to worship the Lord our God. When we look at the transcendent dimension that we've spoken about earlier. So it's it's a summons. It's a summons to do what does worship. Start with me. Now, this is an important theological and biblical question here. Does worship start with me? Let me share an emphatic word here. No. Worship is a response. Of our love return. In other words, we're responding to the love that has been shown to us through Christ our Lord. We're responding to that. We're returning that love. Remember earlier how we talked about in curvatures, in say, how the how this the self turned in upon itself takes the love that the Lord is giving us, and then it flips it right back on itself. But no. And worse, if we take it, we're straightening that line out. Okay. Key verse, Romans 12 one. This kind of spiritual worship is. It's a worship with all that we are body, soul, mind and strength. And it's spiritual in that it's enabled by God's Holy Spirit. And it's truth in that it's founded upon and made possible by the work of Christ. If the most important thing in life then is to love the Lord with all we are and loving God goes hand in hand with worshiping God. You see the connection we're making here, giving him glory, worshiping God, giving him glory that is worshiping God and enjoying him forever. Then let's ask a key question to help us solidify our leadership in the body of Christ.


[00:16:23] Why do we worship and why is it so important for leaders to understand this now? Quickly, we worship, first of all, because of who God is. New Testament uses this beautiful word, Emmanuel God with us or God among us. Jesus revealing in his own self the very divine nature of love and commitment and sacrifice and power and redemption. So in the fair light of Christ, we behold who God is To see Jesus is to see the Father. So our greatest response to all of this, to all of his magnitude, is to join with his disciples in Luke 24 5052. Who? What is it? Is is to worship him. To worship him, to love him. So here's the word leaders. Here's the word. And it's elementary. Yet it's not clear. It is not clear at all in what we are finding in our surveys, dealing with hundreds and hundreds of pastors coming to us for training, hundreds and hundreds of wannabe pastors coming to us for training. And then in the conferences, we're going out to do what's what's our what's our what's our primary purpose here? Our first and primary purpose as his church and as the leader of his church is to offer God praise and adoration. That's the first job for a leader to be a man or woman of prayer, a praise of adoration, of worship, and to lead the people of God in praise, in prayer and adoration and worship. We're going to see now this worship business is is is a bigger deal than just what we do on Sunday morning. That's critical to understand this in our worship services. Look, look, Jesus said this in response to the evil one. What are we to do? Worse, if the Lord your God and serve only him in Matthew 410.


[00:19:07] Now, this kind of single minded focus sets our direction and orders our priorities as leaders around one object and one objective. The object, of course, is Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity. The objective then, is loving the Lord, our God with all that we are, and worshiping Him and worshiping him alone and bringing the people we shepherd into this type of one object, one objective lifestyle. Listen, that's that's elementary, but you don't get this elementary foundation of love in the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength through the Mark 12 rendition. Then then you've got cracks in the foundation of your leadership, and then you start wandering. Now, I love the little sign I see every now and then. Even I've seen it here recently. All who wander are not lost in there. I love that actually, because I love to go mountaineering and I love to get off the beaten path and get out in the woods. And I spend far too much time indoors as it is. But we do not I do not think, given the critical nature of our world today, that we really have the luxury of not understanding primary marching orders and not getting foundation straight today about our primary purpose of loving God with all that, we are literally all that we are. Now, as we travel from place to place, teaching, preaching, conferencing, we were very concerned that we see a large amount of apathy in God's church. Now, this is not true everywhere. Not at all. We were blessed. I one of the I've had great blessings in places where where we've we've visited and studied and done interviews. You know, you just cannot go to Tim Keller's church. The church that the Lord used Tim Miller to start in New York City without seeing.


[00:21:38] Boy, there's focus. There's clearly they understand. And when you interview them, they know why they're there. And great, great blessings through the life and the work and ministry of Tim Keller. And there's others that we could name on and on and on. Yet in the majority of places where we have been, we find a striking sense of apathy. Now, the great old man of the Church of the Anglican Church, John RW Scott, who's in who's in glory with the Saints Now, he wrote about this. Here's what John Stark said. The church is not always it's not always conspicuous for the profound reality of its worship. In other words, he was recognizing START was recognizing we've got a problem here. In particular, we who call ourselves evangelical do not know much how to worship. Evangelism is our specialty stock route, not worship. We seem to have a little sense of the greatness and glory of Almighty God. We do not bow down before him in awe and wonder. You know, it's taken me a long time to get a lot of these things straight in it. I think it took John Howard to be sort of wild To come to that conclusion is, Well, you know, my my prayer, my heart in all of this is especially for you younger leaders here, you don't have to be an old man to get this thing straight. If you listen to the word, it's all going to come out. So God discloses his character to us in the book of his revelation, where he's revealing to us who he is in his word, the Bible. He shows us his nature and his power and creation. All you have to do is look around and you're in awe of what he's done around the sea.


[00:23:44] He literally talks to us in our own life, the Holy Spirit, even through Provine and Grace, even before you're a Christian, the Holy Spirit's knocking on the door, talking to you, trying to, and definitely inviting you in. And God speaks to us through the events of our lives. I mean, this is this is this is huge. This is huge. So as a leader, let's start dwelling down and our drilling down into actually, I like the word dwelling down to just the evil little slip there. But that's okay. Let's let's dwell down into it. Well, if we're going to get a hold of worship, we're going to have to be dwell drilling down and dwelling in his word. And it's going to have to be above and beyond, though, definitely including going to the word for the functional purpose of preaching and teaching. But it's simply going to have to go beyond that. It's going to have to be loving this, treasuring this. John Wesley was very insistent that the church stay true to scriptural Christianity. My friends do not need to hear and love. We don't have the right to rewrite you here in what I'm saying. We don't have the right to revise. We don't have the right to go in and toss what contemporary culture happens to not like. I mean, you lose it, you lose your worship, you lose your grounding. We're going to we'll talk about this later. So we're loving this. We're loving this. So Wesley understood the church to consist of one body, to have one spirit capital, its Holy Spirit, one Lord, even the secrets to Jesus Christ, our Lord. One faith. What? And that's the faith that is that's the the gospel that's been handed down to us.


[00:25:59] That's the that's the word that's been given to us. One baptism, one God and father of all. That's the true church. And he stood in agreement with the 19th article of the Church of England, which stated that the visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men in which what the pure Word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly administered. So we want to be really clear. I want to be careful to emphasize that worship is very much tied with God's Word. And we're celebrating God's presence in our lives through Holy Communion. This is this is a part of who we are, you know, a part of who the church has been from the very beginning is that we sing the Psalms, we pray the Psalms. We worship God by through these prayers in the Psalms. And we are instructed by the teachings of both the old and the New Testament. We love this. I think, secondly, why do we worship God? Will remember First we worship because he's been revealed to us in His Word. Then secondly, we worship because, oh, he he's revealed to us in nature. Do you know the old hymn This is My Father's World Has This is my father's world. And to my listening ears. All nature sings and around me reads the music of the spheres. And it goes way apart. This is my father's world. I risk me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas. His hands are wonders wrought. So the early church, for instance, would talk about nature as being what the second book of God is so cool. Now, it was definitely this is the first book and we always keep that in mind. This is the primary book, but nature is the second book that speaks to us and affirms what the Lord that the Lord is good and that He created all that is, and he's bringing all that is into glorious freedom.


[00:28:35] Then thirdly, we worship because God reveals His life in his love, even in our own being. Think about it. What's the crowning glory of God's handiwork? Especially if you look at Genesis, the book of Genesis, Genesis 127. What's the crowning work of God's handiwork for you are. So this guy, you know, he's our author. He's he's our creator, he's our God. And he created us to reflect his goodness and his glory. Now, this is called being made in the image of God. We also firm and we're very, very clear that because of the fall, that that image was completely covered over. Classic historical Christianity speaks in terms of total depravity. There's just no area of your life that is not impacted by the fall. But in Christ and in the redemption that he offers, listen, things start getting redeemed in our lives and the image of God comes back, Wesley Wesley said before the fall. John Wesley said that Adam and Eve saw everything that was created, that was created as God saw it. In other words, they had knowledge and wisdom. They understood the purpose of things. It's part of why they were able to name it is to name. It is to understand the nature of it. He said that their hearts had one primary object of love and adoration and that they had a perfect will. He said they enjoyed freedom to order their lives and work as they saw best. Wouldn't that be an amazing place to be? That's true. Liberty and Wesley said they were happy. They had joy in their life. And indeed, we affirmed today happiness and holiness always go hand in hand. Now, all of that, of course, was lost because of seeing that was introduced through an action.


[00:31:02] But God's redeeming love is coming in order to redeem that which was lost. Which was fallen, which was broken. The image of God covered over can now be fully restored in the new birth. It's a it's what Jesus makes possible and goodness. So we're thankful we can worship because of how God is made known in our own lives. We since his presence, we near to him. We're close to him. We're blessed by him. And then just we worship God because of the arrangement of our lives. Look in divine providence, in your life. There's not hardly. There will be very few people that I'm speaking to that haven't gone through major crises. And we've talked about crises earlier. The crises are not so much the point, you know, beyond the crisis. You get to the point say, oh, blessed crises like Saint Augustine did, and you come to the point of realizing through divine providence, there is nothing that keeps us away from God's love and his purpose being fulfilled in unfolding in our lives. Listen, the great great theologian who mentor of mine, Thomas Oden, he's also with the Saints in Glory. Now, Thomas Oden wrote this If God exists in the way that classic Christianity teaches, God's existence implies far more than intellectual concerns. It implies what befitting adoration. Ceaseless praise of his incomparable being, active love of the most lovable of all. Being a love that manifests itself in the loving of all other beings in relation to this supreme being. Love it so our duty to worship God becomes our joy, but it also sets the compass of our life. Any time I go mountaineering in the wilderness or any time I take any of my little grandkids out in the in the wilds, now I've got a compass now.


[00:33:38] And I'm saying, for us as Christian leaders, this business of worship is immense. Now, let's just take a little, little break here. I want you to absorb this and then we're going to come right back and we're going to dig down into specific words in worship and what does worship means. So a little break and we'll be right back.