SCRIPTURE: Matthew 24:30-31
Written by: Dr Conrade Yap
Date: Aug 30th, 2013
30“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:30-31)Key Point: Do not let our Call to Worship begin with a focus on man's needs. It needs to focus on the character of God. It is a call, not a request. It is a proclamation of God, not an appropriation of God for the purposes of man.
"Good morning! Let us rise and read the call to worship," says the worship leader.
Seems quite normal and familiar right? Now, something does not seem quite right with that. What's wrong with that? Here is what's wrong.
A) What is the Call to Worship?
A call to worship (CW) is not about begging people to read something together. Neither is it merely getting people to read something in order to get the worship going. It is also not a form of "warm up" to the rest of the worship service. Instead, it is a rousing exclamation to all believers to come and worship. Note the passage above about the coming of the Son of Man. The angels appear with a "loud trumpet call" and "gather" the elect from all over. It is loud. Like ringing the school bell to signal the start or end of a school session, or the emcee who calls upon everyone seated in the stadium to stand to sing the national anthem, the CW is an active trumpet call to all in the Church to come. Brian Doerksen's song begins well.
Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart
Come, just as you are to worship
Come, just as you are before your God
KEY: The Call to Worship is not a request for people to straddle into the sanctuary. It is a trumpet sound that declares the time for the elect, the called to come together to worship God in Spirit and in truth.