I’m reading Bob Kauflin’s new (and utterly terrific) book about corporate worship, “Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God.” Kauflin is the author of a popular blog of the same name (http://www.worshipmatters.com/), dealing with a broad range of issues related to the corporate worship of the church.
In the book, Kauflin is unpacking, phrase by phrase, his definition of what a worship leader does. Perhaps at some point in the future we’ll go through this material together, but I want to focus your attention on a particular portion of it today.
One of the worship leader’s tasks is to “motivat[e] the gathered church to proclaim the gospel.” He defines proclamation as “declaring what’s true about God.” He suggests that one reason it’s necessary to proclaim truths about God and the gospel that we probably know already is that we tend to forget. We get wrapped up in the worries, fears, desires and busyness of life, and we need weekly reminders of God’s goodness, specifically of his mercy and love displayed in the cross of Christ.
He cites 1 Peter 2:9, where the apostle says that we have been saved “that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light.” One purpose, and result, of our redemption is that we now proclaim God’s excellencies. Kauflin says that “we’re meant to fulfill this command both in our meetings and in our lives.” Then he writes these insightful words:
People come into our churches proclaiming all sorts of things with their words and actions. Through close-fisted giving, some are asserting how much their own personal wealth matters. Others, by their complaining, are declaring that personal comfort matters. Teens in the latest fashions may be proclaiming that being cool matters. Others confirm through their smiles or frowns that their musical preferences matter. But we want each of them to leave proclaiming this: The gospel of Jesus Christ matters.
I was struck and convicted by these words. Can you relate to this? Have you ever entered a corporate worship meeting proclaiming with your words and actions something other than the gospel of Jesus Christ? Kauflin’s given us a few examples here, but what are some other things we might proclaim? What might people be distracted by as they enter to encounter the living God with a community of believers? How can we get our gaze fixed once again upon the crucified Messiah and the fountainhead of blessing we find there?