Our indoor playground is currently closed due to construction. Keep an eye on our website for updates.

The Church Exists for Worship

By Jason Elwell
In eLetter
Back to Blog

“I believe the local church exists to do corporately what each Christian believer should be doing individually—and that is worship God. It is to show forth the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. It is to reflect the glories of Christ ever shining upon us through the ministries of the Holy Spirit.”

This quote comes from A.W. Tozer in his book simply entitled “Worship.” I loved this quote because it’s the way Tozer defines the very existence of the church. Wait, I thought the church was for teaching theology, serving the poor, and connecting people in community? That’s exactly what the church does but that’s not why it exists. The church is made up of people created in the image and likeness of God for one purpose: worship. If we get this wrong then our teaching, our programs, and our mission do less than “show forth the excellencies of God.”

Barry taught out of Genesis 1 this past Sunday, about the first man and the first woman who were created to rule over God’s good world and live in close communion with him. Unfortunately, they gave all of that up for autonomy, self-sufficiency, and control — and we have been eating those apples ever since. When sin entered the picture, it created a problem. In AA’s “The Big Book,” this is referred to as The Missing Piece: The Spiritual Malady. We’re not unique from Adam and Eve. Just like them, “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Once we come to grip with this reality and take ownership of “the malady,” we can start the recovery process.

So, what does this have to do with worship? Worship reorients our disoriented loves. It is in worship that we let go of our desire for autonomy, self-sufficiency, and control. As we stand together in worship on Sundays with our hands extended out in a posture of surrender and sing words like “Christ be magnified,” we are reminding our hearts that Christ is king and we are not. When we sing “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness,” we are confessing that our hearts are prone to wander, and it is only through the power of Christ’s death and resurrection that we find abundant life! When we partake of the bread and the wine we say to God, ourselves, and each other that the “Way of the Cross” is the way to eternal life and no other power or principality will prevail in this age or the age to come.

The church’s programs are fueled by the church’s worship. At IBC we want to become more committed and passionate worshippers of God. One way we are investing in this endeavor is by training and equipping worship leaders. Last fall we started a developmental initiative called Animate. We had 11 leaders go through a nine-week intensive that was aimed at developing their understanding of worship and learning how to facilitate Christ-centered worship experiences. On February 2 we will kick off another nine weeks, so if you play an instrument or sing and are interested in leading worship, I would like to invite you to join us! Click HERE to register for the spring Animate or email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Grace and Peace,

Jason Elwell

Pastor of Worship Development and Recovery

We Recommend Reading Next: