Experiencing teaching as worship

(With special thanks to my pastor, John Boulet)

For much of my Christian life, I considered the more musical portion of the service to be when real worship would take place, but the sermon, the message—whatever it was called, the “talking” by the pastor was something else. Now I realize that this time can indeed be filled with worship, and we as the congregation can reverently focus on God, encounter Him experientially, and be transformed.

Perhaps my new frame of mind is due to wonderful teaching I’ve sat under, which focuses on Scripture, relates what God has done for us in Christ, and centers on the assumption that God, not ourselves, should be the center of our attention. Sunday morning is probably not the place for tips on becoming better parents, seven ways to be more successful in life, or other similar concerns. Perhaps Oprah or Dr. Phil can tell me such things. Or maybe a TV preacher. Or even my own pastor. But not on Sunday morning.

Fine biblical teaching from the likes of Tim Keller, John Piper, and a host of others can be found online, and your pastor is probably not as good as they are, but that’s not the point. Something special happens when we physically gather as the body of Christ that isn’t duplicated by listening to podcasts.

A company of people drawn together by God hears what cannot be heard by individuals in isolation. There have been many occasions when a good teacher has presented a piece of the Bible I’ve read, perhaps a hundred times, but only through the preaching of the Word has it truly resonated, provoked me to worship, and changed me.

It’s very likely that God simply won’t allow us to get everything we need through our own study, or podcasts, or other alternatives to the actual physical assembly of his people. As writer Marilyn Robinson has said, “I go to church because there are experiences I can have nowhere else.”



10 thoughts on “Experiencing teaching as worship

  1. Jeana Beno says:

    So true Ray…I’ve realized this too and am grateful. For those musical among us, it’s a great relief to have worship happen in various parts of the service and also to have it with others and not just individually!


    Jeana Beno *Area Ministry Director* Delaware & Eastern Shore InterVarsity Christian Fellowship 302.229.8536​

    *Students & Faculty TRANSFORMED*

    *Campuses RENEWED& World Changers DEVELOPED*

  2. Jeana Beno says:

    So true, Ray. For worship leaders, it’s a great relief to have worship happen in various parts of the service and not attempted only during the musical elements. My private worship is so very different than corporate worship and learning. I can’t possibly know God as deeply or fully or know his love without the beloved community. Pastor Jon Boulet’s teaching ushers me into worship as well.

  3. Jon’s teaching makes worship easy because it’s so centered on truths about God. I have been in settings where the focus was too much on ourselves, or even worse, about the person speaking. I am thankful to be at Sycamore Hill.

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