God is in the midst of shaking up our Sunday mornings here at Vineyard Community Church. I don’t know exactly what this means for us in its entirety, but God has shared a few insights with me. I am excited to share these with you because I think they will help us to all pray more specifically for our time together as a community. And so, without further ado, 4 “E”s for Sunday Morning.
Experience – God wants Sunday morning to be a time when we experience His Presence in an extraordinary way. God is always with us and we can experience His Presence on a daily basis, but there is something special that happens when a bunch of hungry people come together for the sole purpose of worshipping and glorifying God. For too long, Christianity has been relegated to the cerebral/intellectual realm. I understand doctrine is important, but so is experience. Indeed, “experience” is the truest definition of the word “knowledge” in the Bible. To know God is, therefore, to experience His Presence in daily life and the ability to speak about Him from first hand experience.
Empowering – God wants Sunday morning to be a time where we are filled to our uttermost with His Holy Spirit. God wants to fill in every nook and cranny in our being with His life-giving Presence. Not only should we have powerful encounters and experiences with the Holy Spirit on Sunday morning- we are to be carriers of the Holy Spirit throughout the week, bringing God’s Presence with us wherever we go. “The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power,” 1 Corinthians 4:20. We need to reinstitute “show and tell” into our Church experience. We need to show the kingdom as well as talk about it.
Equipping – God wants Sunday morning to be a time where His people are equipped to walk in the fullness of God’s blessing and authority. We have been given spiritual armor (Ephesians 6) that we must be taught how to wear and spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10) that we must be taught how to wield. The Bible is the foundation of our life in Christ. As Paul says, “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Encouraging – God wants Sunday morning to be a time where His people are encouraged. Literally, He wants to put courage inside of us. For, “if God is for us, who can be against us,” Romans 8:31. We we experience God’s Presence, are empowered by His Spirit, equipped to do battle and know that we aren’t in this alone we are encouraged to make our stand for the Kingdom of God. We are the Fellowship of the Unashamed, those who do not fear Death and over whom the Enemy has lost his power. We are those living for The Age to Come, the Unconquerable Souls held in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus and nothing, nothing, can separate us from the love that God has for us.
I know that God wants Sunday morning to be many more things (not to mention the rest of the week!), but these are what He is highlighting for us right now. I encourage you to press in to these things in your times with the Lord. Be praying for us and the Church Universal that God would restore to us the joy of our salvation, would pour out His Holy Spirit once again, and would impart True Identity to us through worship and the Word. Amen.