I have watched our brotherhood through thirty years of preaching. We have weathered many issues, most of which no longer matter to a majority. Twenty years ago an older preacher told me the next issue was church autonomy. First, we must identify the real issue, for if we ask the wrong questions, we will likely get the wrong answers. For this article, the issue is worship.
Consider three aspects of worship.
Consider two questions. A few years ago I attended a gospel meeting. The speaker addressed several contemporary issues before offering the invitation. In the front of the Bible I was carrying that night is written this question, "Did he preach the Gospel?" The inclusion of preaching in worship is a reminder that worship ó whether in song, prayer, communing, preaching, sharing, or some other activity ó is ultimately a declaration of God.
Through the years I have seen many visitors attend our assemblies. I have heard many comments from visitors, but one I remember ó I was looking for a church where God is present. "Is God present?" When you worship Sunday, will God be there? The question is haunting. The beginning point is a proper foundation. As we humbly consider our own undoneness, the wonder of the body of Christ united in its frailty, and the presence of God among us despite our sinfulness, let us recommit to declaring the good news of Godís presence in our lives in such a way that those who come among us will say, "God is really among you" (1 Cor. 14:25).
[Bob Young is Director of Biblical Studies Programs at Ohio Valley College; Executive Vice President; minister, Grand Central Church of Christ.
Young maintains a variety of internet resources at www.bobyoungresources.com]