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Ordinary People: Work as Worship

Highlights by Sydney Gautier

Work should lead to worship.

When Barry first said this, it sounded strange to me. I’ve worked as a waitress, a hostess, a substitute teacher, an ice cream scooper, and even a carousel attendant. I can’t say that any of those felt like acts of worship, but as strange as it sounds, God cared about my ice cream scooping and the carousel attending. He cares about the way I work in these incredibly mundane jobs. I should, too. 

God ordained work. 

There was work in the garden of Eden before there was sin. Adam and Eve worked in the garden before they sinned, so it’s important to remember that work isn’t a punishment. Work is good. God even works every day to sustain His creation and make all things new. Jesus worked too. “My father is working until now, and I am working” (John 5:17). God called us to be workers as well. He would not have done so unless it was good for us. He has called us to be teachers and construction workers and baristas and ice cream scoopers because he is a good father and knows what is best for us.

We are to work as living sacrifices.

God wants us to be totally dedicated and devoted to Him in our work. Paul puts it this way, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men...You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24). For me, this would mean scooping ice cream as if Jesus was the one I would be handing the cone to. Or setting a table as if Jesus was the one that was about to sit down and eat. If this is the way I would go about my work, my attitude would be completely different. I would go from being indifferent to being vigilant and engaged.

Extraordinary things happen when ordinary people do ordinary things with gospel intentionality.

What would happen if we went to work with this mindset everyday? A lot of the time, for me anyways, work can feel mundane and ordinary. Gospel intentionality changes this, though. We can use work as an act of worship. The gospel allows us to treat the people we work with differently because God’s glorification is the end goal. We are able to love the boss who is constantly breathing down our neck. We can show patience to the co-worker who has a hard time following directions. When we succeed at a project, we give the glory to God and are able to be grateful to him. 

Barry calculated that over our lifetimes, each of us will work on average 80,000 hours. That’s over 9 years of our lives that could be transformed from an act of weariness to an act of worship.


Why We Do What We Do: Gospel Flow

Why We Do What We Do: Gospel Flow

By Scott Moran

Liturgy: a fixed set of ceremonies, words, etc., that are used during public worship

You may have never noticed this aspect in our Sunday Gathering, which is exactly why we wanted to write about it in the blog. Instead of liturgy, I like to refer to it is a "gospel flow". We desire for each person that joins us on Sunday to experience the full spectrum of the gospel--God is Holy, we are sinners, Jesus saves us from our sins.

Of course, each week we have a different set of songs, different scripture reading, different message, but we are ultimately holding up the beauty of the Gospel every Sunday. It may seem like overkill to plan every service around the gospel, but it makes sense when we think about the human heart. Our default setting is to forget. It's not something we can change about us. If we do not constantly remind ourselves of the gospel, we will forget it. This is not something new to humans; we have been forgetting God's promises and God's workings in our life since the beginning. Pull up the Bible App on your phone right now and search the word "forgot." You will lose all hope in humanity. I will highlight one of the verses for you:

"They forgot his works and the wonders that He had shown them"  Psalm 78:11

Forgetfulness leads to doubt. When we do not remind ourselves of the goodness of God and His gospel, we will doubt. Just look at the disciples after Jesus rose from the dead recorded Matthew 28. Jesus meets them on a mountain in Galilee and it says "when they saw Him they worshipped him, but some doubted."  If some of the disciples can physically see Jesus and doubt, what does that say about our situation? We are so prone to forget the Jesus that saves us.

So at New Circle, we recognize this. We understand following God is not an easy task, and there are a lot of bumps in the road, a lot of distractions on the way of faith. And this is why we do what we do. We aim to share the beauty of the gospel every week in our Sunday Gathering.

We start each week off with a song to welcome into the worship space, and then we have a time labeled "A Call to Worship". We invite all people to put away the distractions of the world and set their gaze upon God. We then have a song that sings of the greatness, goodness, holiness, power, and wonder of our God. We attempt to focus the beginning of each Sunday Gathering upon the absolute beauty of God. Some may call this "adoration".

We then move into a more reflective state of worship. After recognizing the holiness of God, we look to ourselves, our world, our community, our neighborhood and see the misery of sin. We sing about how we have fallen short and we have once again not lived out the life of holiness God commands us to live. This is corporate lament. We struggle together, we recognize our sin together, and we cry out to God together. This can also be called a time of "confession".

Finally, we sing of Jesus' death and resurrection. After confessing our sin together, and humbling ourselves before God and each other, we celebrate the new life we have in Jesus. We are no longer considered slaves, but sons and daughters! We are new creations in Christ! Jesus has forgiven us, and has remained faithful to us. This hopeful time of worship an also be called "assurance".

Each week, my goal is to lead us through a time of corporate adoration, confession and assurance. The beauty of the gospel can only be told when walk through each chapter. We do not realize how ugly our sin is, until we reflect upon the absolute beauty of God. And we cannot truly celebrate the resurrection of Christ without seeing the total depravity we faced in our sin.

My hope is that you will see this "gospel flow" this week and be changed. You will see the story of God being told every week and remember who you are in Christ.


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