Worship: The Program
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
~ Matthew 18:20
Now, I freely admit that it is impossible to hold a Christian service without an agenda. If order is to be maintained, an order of service must exist somewhere. If two songs are to be sung, someone must know which one is to be sung first, and whether this knowledge is only in someone's head or has been reduced to paper there is indeed a “program,” however we may dislike to call it that.
The point we make here is that in our times the program has been substituted for the Presence. The program rather than the Lord of glory is the center of attraction. So the most popular gospel church in any city is likely to be the one that offers the most interesting program; that is, the church that can present the most and best features for the enjoyment of the public.
We'll do our churches a lot of good if we each one seek to cultivate the blessed Presence in our services. If we make Christ the supreme and constant object of devotion the program will take its place as a gentle aid to order in the public worship of God. If we fail to do this the program will finally obscure the Light entirely, and no church can afford that.
Lord, I pray that Christ might always be the center of our worship—never the program. Even if our church is never the largest or most 'exciting,' may we never lose that focus. Amen.
~ A. W. Tozer, from The Root of the Righteous