This last week, I had the privilege of going to Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, OK with the youth group from Nichols St. church of Christ for Camp Genesis. The focus of this camp, as with many church camps, is to help the students experience God in ways they never have before. The hope is that these experiences with God will change the lives of the teens attending.
Camp Genesis is a little different than most camps I’ve been to, however. It’s focus is helping the kids get beyond their comfort zone and interact with other people who may be uncomfortable for these teens to be around. The campers got to split up during the week and travel to many different ministries around Oklahoma City and serve in any way they could. They went to an inner-city church, the Salvation Army, the City Rescue Mission, Special Care (a home for children with disabilities), the regional Food Bank, the Boys and Girls Club and various other services around the area.
All of the kids attending were very excited to have the opportunity to serve. In fact, we got rained out on Monday and had to postpone the service projects that day, and the teens were voicing their disappointment because they just couldn’t wait to help serve. I really enjoy that aspect of teenagers today…they will serve, and they want to serve.
As I worked and taught and laughed and sweated alongside these teens last week, I realized something I would like to share with you today. It came to me that I really like to sing. I love singing on Sunday morning. I sing in my car. I sing with the teens. I have even performed from time to time. I love to sing.
One of my favorite things about being a Christian is that I get to worship with other Christians every Sunday morning and any other time the Christians are meeting together. This brings me great joy. I know that many of you reading this feel the same joy as you worship God each week. This is not a new concept to me, but what comes next is something I haven’t processed before:
It is really easy for us to get so caught up in worshiping with our lips that we forget what true worship is really about.
Romans 12:1-2 says this: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
This phrase “spiritual act of worship” is translated in other versions as “reasonable service of worship”. The idea here is that the only logical, reasonable way to worship is to offer ourselves as living sacrifices…to God.
We all worship something. What we dedicate our lives to is what we worship – sometimes it may be our job or our hobby or our family or even our addiction. What consumes us is what we worship.
Even more so…is it worship if we are only doing it on Sunday morning with our lips? What about the rest of our bodies the rest of the week? Worship is about so much more than simply singing to God. It’s easy to sing the right words at the right time. It’s much harder to get dirty for Jesus as we serve Him by serving others.
This is what these kids were doing all week at camp. They were giving their lives to God in service to those whom God loves.
So what do you worship? And how do you do it? If you are a Sunday only type of Christian, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate what you are worshiping. Worship should be from everything you are and have every day of the week. Christian should be who you are…not merely what you do. Only when we get a firm grasp on this concept will the world be changed for the good in the name of Christ.
Then, you will understand God’s will for you.
I thank God for the work that these teens have done this week! And I thank God that’s He’s working in your heart as you have read this article. If there is any way we can serve you or help you get plugged in to serving others, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or on twitter @mrjdobbs. God bless you, and may He change you daily to be more like Jesus.