I’d like to take you on the imagination train for a moment.
Imagine that you walk into the door of a home that is hosting a child’s birthday party. From the moment the door swings open there is a tidal wave of screaming, toys crashing, and parents yelling. You look around at the decorations and realize that the theme of this party is Transformers, but you aren't a big fan of Transformers, you like Superman. I mean why Transformers? You grew up with Superman and had all the action figures. You dressed up like him every Halloween and your mom even made you a super blanket.
Now it’s time to celebrate little Jimmy by singing Happy Birthday and eating cake. Mom brings out a glowing sheet cake and you think to yourself, “What? No ice cream cake? Ice cream is my favorite.” Then the song begins, but you’re still a little bitter about the cake and the decor so you refuse to sing to little Jimmy because this party is a joke. Nothing about it appeals to you.
I'm wondering if you know where I'm going with this?
A long time ago I had a professor challenge me to think about planning a worship service like planning a birthday party for Jesus. Now let me be honest and say that at the time I was told this, I thought that was the dumbest thing ever. I mean I'm going to be a worship leader, not a party planner. But with age, God has been revealing how true that statement is. If I plan a party for Jesus, then everything should be about Him. Everyone that comes should be celebrating Jesus.
Let’s replace the word “party” with the term “worship service.” If we’re having a worship service, it should be about Jesus. The songs we sing, the words we say, the prayers we pray should point to Jesus. Everyone that comes to this “worship service” should be here to celebrate Jesus.
There is a passage of scripture in Colossians that is a sobering reminder of this point.
…for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. - Colossians 1:16
Christ was not created for you. You were created for Christ.
HOW DOES THIS CHANGE EVERYTHING?
I have a great conviction in my heart about this. Not just for you, but for myself. Have we missed the point all together? Have we truly led people away from truth?
Let me say this in the most loving and honest way I can. Being a Christ follower, is not about you! It isn’t about your comfort. It isn't about your preferences. It isn't even about your works. It’s about Jesus! Always and Forever! Jesus!
Let me saying this again. IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS!!!!
Look back at the scripture in Colossians. Look at the list of things that was created in Christ and for Christ.
- Heavenly Realms
- Things on Earth
- Things We Can See
- Things We Can’t See
- Did I mention “EVERYTHING?”
Your life was created to be in a relationship with Christ. Period. It wasn’t about you having the best job. It wasn’t about you having a big family. It wasn’t even about you having perfect health. It was about being in an intimate relationship with the God of the universe.
When sin entered the world, so did the great divide between that relationship. The choice of sin over a relationship with God was and is the very thing that separates a selfish life from the intended selfless one.
WHAT TO DO?
As a worship leader and planner of worship services, I have to be honest and say that I really struggle when someone comes up to me and tells me something they didn’t like about the service. I first have to check my own heart and ask this question: Is there merit here? But often I wish people would walk in the door thinking that they are attending a party for Jesus. I wish they would see that this gathering isn’t about their love of ice-cream cake, but their love and thankfulness for Jesus. That their obsession would shift from being a fanboy of Superman and being a follower and admirer of Jesus.
This takes a complete refocus in our lives. It takes “dying to self” and communing with Christ not just on a weekly basis but daily. It takes reverence for the fact we were even created.
I’d like you to take the next 5 minutes to just stop. Stop thinking about what you have to do. Stop thinking about your family and solely focus on Him. Nurture your relationship with Him.
Here are a few things to pray as a guide:
Open your mind and heart to the vastness that is God. Think of Him as Creator and Sustainer.
Seek for Him to reveal anything blocking your heart from Him.
Ask for guidance on how to fall deeper in love with Him.