Henry Mahan

Nearly every church bulletin advertises a morning worship service. How long has it been since you have actually taken part in a worship service? The average Sunday church service begins with people running to and fro trying to find a seat, many are late and many even come in after the service begins. Everyone is engaged in small talk and idle words. The auditorium buzzes with talk, laughter and a general commotion. There is a hymn announced, usually after a few empty words of greeting and praise for the good turnout. After the hymn whatever attitude of worship has been created through the hymn is interrupted by the Sunday School report or a list of announcements which are already printed in the bulletin and really concern few people. Another hymn is sung, and a brother is called upon to lead the congregation in prayer. If there have been thoughts of worship and spiritual concern generated, they are again side-tracked as the minister recognizes the visitors and prominent persons who have honored the Lord with their presence. Cards are passed out, signed and dropped in the plate. Once again, the congregation is called upon to recapture a spirit of worship as they are favored with a special number by a talented singer who is rarely there except when he performs. Then the message - but not just a word from God - even the message must be flavored and preceeded by a humorous story or a personal experience involving the preacher's personal life. Satan has a thousand subtle ways of keeping men from worshipping God. He usually employs dozens of them in the morning worship service.

I don't have all the answers but I do have some suggestions. "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints and to be had in reverence by all them that are about Him." Psa. 89:7

Again, I repeat, I do not have the answers nor do I claim that our worship services are all that I would like them to be, but I'm frightened and disturbed, lest we continue down the present road of entertaining sinners, praising the flesh, promoting our organizations, socializing in the house of God and thus fail our generation! We pastors, elders and deacons have a solemn responsibility to lead our congregations in the worship of the Lord! If you can't worship God where you are, find a place where you can worship Him and hear His Word preached, even if it involves moving your family. I had rather my family do without some of the comforts of this world than to miss the comforts of eternal life.

Henry Mahan, Pastor
Thirteenth Street Baptist Church
Ashland, Ky. 41101

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