The following is a Twitter response to Beth Moore’s recent comments concerning Mother’s Day. It needs to be said that I disagree with Beth Moore on many things. However, I’m sharing this response because it’s graceful, helpful, and attempts to offer encouragement to an approach to worship that is not a Biblical one. Tom here gets to the thing behind the thing.
Much has been said about Beth Moore’s advice for grieving women to stay away from church on Mother’s Day. While I disagree with Beth, I have personal experience with the pain (my wife and I experienced 15 years of infertility) and would like to offer some pastoral thoughts.
While it would be easy to simply say, “You need to go to church,” maybe we should do some self-examination of our churches. Perhaps this has as much to say about us as it does them, and it might reveal a deeper problem with our churches today. Let me offer six thoughts.
1.Too many churches have made worship about the “customer” rather than about God. So we shouldn’t be surprised when we design our worship services to cater to consumers that our people make selfish decisions about attending. We’ve taught them to be self-focused.
2.Too many churches design their services to focus on the individual rather than the corporate nature of worship. Much modern worship creates spectators of “worship” rather than participants in worship. So, does it really matter where I am if it’s all about my time with God?
3.Too many churches know how to celebrate, but don’t know how to lament. We’re good at rejoicing with those who rejoice, but fail at weeping with those who weep. If every song in every service is a celebration fest, there’s little room for the broken-hearted.
4.Perhaps this is because we let other things guide worship rather than God’s Word. Imagine if our worship services were designed to feed people God’s Word; singing guided by the Word rather than the radio station; worship that takes attention off self & places it fully upon God
5.What if our churches simply did what Scripture calls us to do in our worship services: Read the Word (1 Tim 4:13), Preach the Word (2 Tim 4:2), Pray the Word (1 Tim 2:1), Sing the Word (Eph 5:19), Display the Word – Baptism and Lord’s Supper (Lk 22:19;Rom 6:3).
6. Maybe this reveals how starved people are for what they REALLY need. We need God’s Word to govern and guide worship. There’s likely more, but I believe this reveals our worship gatherings are not giving people what they need to sustain them in both the joys and sorrows of life
~ Tom Buck