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A Word About the Worship Center Doors
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Posted by Ed Fedor, Associate Pastorimg 20191004 150311

 

A little over a month ago, we began a practice of closing the Worship Center doors at the start of the worship service and asking anyone still in the foyer to please wait until after the opening prayer to enter the Worship Center. A word about why.

 

The shortest answer we can give is this: love.

 

We fully appreciate the challenges of getting the family ready for church on a Sunday – especially families with small children. You may be running a little late and realize you’re wearing two different color socks. Or you suddenly can’t find your Bible. Or you realize your car doesn’t have enough gas. There are any number of reasons why it can be difficult to get to church on time on a particular Sunday. We’ve all been there!

 

Here’s where the love comes in.

 

Every aspect of our worship service is important. Every part of the service is worship, not just the singing and the preaching. And every part of the worship service is carefully planned and placed in order to draw us all into greater worship of our glorious Savior.

 

At the start of the service on any Sunday, there are 200 to 250 or more of your fellow church members, regular attenders, and guests already in the Worship Center, ready to worship. If the service has begun and then twenty, thirty, or forty or more people begin streaming into the Worship Center looking for seats and working their way down rows of people, those who have been in their seats cannot help but be distracted – in that particular row and all the rows around them. Of course, our people are very cordial and patient with each other (Eph. 4:2-3), but anything happening from the pulpit or on the stage at that time is immediately forgotten.

 

Out of love for all those who have made the effort to arrive on time (or early), to minimize the disruption of their worship experience, we are waiting until an appropriate break in the service before we open the doors again to let in more people.

 

This is a basic principle of love for your neighbor.

I want to arrive early enough on Sunday, so I do not hinder my neighbor’s worship.

 

Our intention is not in any way to frustrate those who attend our church.
Our aim is to glorify God in worship and hold high the highest virtue of love. This should be the highest aim of everyone who attends our worship service!

 

The apostle Paul says in Romans 15:2, “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

 

He also says in Philippians 2:3–4, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

 

And the apostle John says, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16).

 

Some people regularly struggle with being on time and it has become a pattern in their character. If this describes you, we would encourage you to consider the principle of love for your neighbor and ask God to help you overcome this habit and work toward arriving early. There is always hope in Christ for growth and change!

 

And thank you for loving and respecting our greeters as they also hold high this principle of love!

 

Can I suggest a radical idea? Let’s all aim to be at church early!

 

If you’re early:

  • Your heart will be more settled and ready to worship our majestic Creator God.
  • You can take a few minutes to sit quietly and think about the Lord you came to worship.
  • You can get your children to the appropriate classrooms without rushing.
  • You can take a few minutes to encourage one another in fellowship before the service.
  • You can take a few minutes to read through the church bulletin before the service starts.
  • You can encourage your church leaders by showing greater respect for their careful and prayerful planning of the worship service.
  • You set a good example for your children in holding high the principle of love for others.

God is supremely worthy of our worship, Amen?

Let’s all do what we can to love God and love our neighbor when we gather to worship!



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