We have just posted a new sermon on the Keep Believing website called Up With Worship! Here’s an excerpt:
"There is a tendency today to be very hypercritical about worship. We tend to evaluate everything. We come with a critical mentality. We come shopping for a church, looking for this or that. I remember when I was a first-year seminary student. I had just gotten married a few days before starting seminary. For the whole first year in Dallas, we didn’t settle in a church. We went church hopping week after week after week. Because I was in seminary studying the word of God all week, I didn’t feel any need to go to church on Sunday. I felt I was in church all week long. Bad thought, but that was the way I felt. So I would go from church to church, taking Marlene with me. Marlene was working to help put me through school. I had this terrible practice that whenever we went to a church, I would be hypercritical of the preacher and his sermon. I would be critical of the choir, the organ, the piano, the way they decorated the sanctuary, how ugly the bulletin was. It got so bad that the service would end, we would get in the car, and before we had left the church parking lot, I had started cutting up and dissecting the church service. Finally, after about four or five months of that, my sweet bride sat me down and counseled with me about the matter. She is very powerful when she counsels with people. When she counseled with me, I felt led of the Spirit to stop that for the sake of greater things in my life."
"You know how easy it is to come to church and say, “Well, how the pastor do today?” “What did you think about our new worship leader?” “I didn’t like that chorus we sang.” How easy it is to get into that mentality and look around at things and get a hypercritical spirit. The question is not what did you get out of this service? The question is what did you put into it? If you leave a church service saying you didn’t get anything out of it, it’s probably because you didn’t put anything into it. When you come to give, you will receive. When you come just to get, with a consumer mentality, two things will happen. You will go away frustrated and you will develop a critical spirit. When that happens, genuine worship disappears."