Worship Jesus. Revitalize the church. Reach the neighborhood.
When we started to revitalize over here at Griggs, this became our mission. It was our heartbeat. We repeated it nearly every Sunday.
The first part of our three-part phrase may seem a little vague. It may look a little odd for a mission statement. "Worship Jesus? Isn't that sort of understood? Did you add that in there to sound spiritual?" I assure you it was entirely intentional.
For any church looking to revitalize the idea of worshiping Jesus should be at the forefront of the vision. In other words, your first goal is simply to make it all about Jesus again.
Without putting forward a clearly renewed allegiance to Jesus, the revitalization won't get very far. And even if it does, without a Jesus saturation, it won't be long before you need to revitalize again.
Worshiping Jesus is Biblical
Let's get a little bit tighter on the definition of worshiping Jesus, though it is probably obvious. What I'm talking about is putting a spotlight specifically on the 2nd member of the trinity in all areas of worship from scripture readings to sacraments. Here's a list:
- Singing songs specifically about Jesus
- Preaching texts explicitly about Jesus
- Making applications Jesus-centered (trust Jesus, talk to Jesus, live like Jesus)
- Giving salvation testimonies about meeting Jesus
- Praying intentionally in the name of Jesus
- Taking more time to remember Jesus during communion
Now let's debunk a couple of myths. Some may think that such a focus on Jesus is a ploy to weasel out of the hard parts of the Bible. If you ask me, Jesus teaching is the hardest hitting part of the Bible. Unless you hate your mom, you can't even follow Jesus.
Additionally, some may think I'm advocating putting the other members of the Trinity on the bench. No, worshiping Jesus is the will of the Trinity.
The Trinity itself emphasizes Jesus for he is the Son in whom the Father is well pleased and the one that the Holy Spirit speaks for. Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. In him, the fullness of the Godhead dwells.
And, since Jesus sends us the Comforter and is our Mediator before the Father, centering everything on Jesus is thoroughly Trinitarian.
Worshiping Jesus is Foundational
A great re-focusing takes place in the heart of a church when Jesus is exalted. The first thing that should happen is that any additional topics will take their proper seat in the back where they belong.
Just like only one person can sit in the driver's seat of a car, only one topic can truly drive the church.
Typically what has caused the Biblical emphasis of Jesus to take a back seat are constant rants about secondary theological issues, morality, a war in the culture or politics.
There is no faster way to harden the saints or halt evangelism than to put something besides the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus in the driver's seat.
Emphasizing Jesus focuses the Christian on all that really matters. Jesus moves us to think now about what we'll think about on our death beds: Love, the gospel, salvation, family, eternity, souls, mission, holiness, etc.
When focused on what really matters, the church is ready theologically to do what needs to be done missionally to turn itself around and pack the house with bad people who need the good news.
No, “Worship Jesus” was not a phrase we added into our mission to sound spiritual. It is the basis for our revitalization and, hopefully, the result as well.