Today's thought comes from David Watson. Though his words are extremely relevant and address an issue that is in the forefront of church life right now, it was written prior to 1982. Many would have avoided unnecessary mistakes and controversy had they only listened to his words. Enjoy.
"Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His footstool; He is holy." ( 99:5)
Clearly it would be wrong to 'use' worship as a 'tool' for evangelism. True worship must always be first and foremost Godward (and not manward) in its direction, even though the expression of worship, certainly in terms of serving and giving, may bring much blessing to other people. When we are taken up with worship, and when we are unashamed of the fact that we are in love with God and in love with one another, that can be very powerful indeed. The world today is starved of love, suffocated with words, bereft of joy, and lacking in peace. Therefore 'a praising community preaches to answer questions raised by its praise.'
So often, today, evangelism is crippled by the prevailing apathy. Comparatively few people people are asking serious questions about God, partly because there is little or nothing which they see or hear to awaken them to any sense of his reality. But when Christians are found to be really worshipping God, loving Him, serving Him, excited with Him, and when their worship makes them into a caring community of love, then questions will certainly be asked, leading to excellent opportunities for sharing the Good News of Christ."
If worship is geared more toward appealing to the likes and dislikes of unbelievers than offering God the praise He deserves, or if our mental and affectional focus is on those around us rather than God, whose splendor, holiness and majesty should call forth the inner worshipful posture of our hearts, then we stand in danger of 'performing for people' rather than adoring and worshipping God. This doesn't excuse poorly prepared worship leaders and shoddy music, but it keeps the focus where it always needs to be.
Our greatest desire should be to honor and Christian worship service is not, "What great music," but "Surely God was really there among you" (I Cor. 14:25)., focus our hearts on Him, and block out all else that would keep Him from being the object of our faith, love and affections. The one thing we should hope to hear from the unbeliever upon leaving a
Dr. Jeffrey F. Evans