Pastor Fries: Five characteristics of biblically faithful corporate worship

Micah FriesThe problem with the way most Christians find a church home is that their approach has a lot more to do with the way they would buy a pair of jeans than it does what Scripture says about the importance of corporate worship.

That’s how Micah Fries, senior pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., started the 2016 Florida Baptist Pastors Conference Sunday night hosted by Calvary Church in Clearwater.

“They try to find the nicest-looking place that asks the least of them,” Fries said, completing his thought about shopping for a church home.

Instead of “church shopping,” our approach to finding a church should be that we gather together where we can best worship—not even where we can be fed, because that continues to put the emphasis on us instead of God.

Fries’ message, titled “Recapturing a Biblical Understanding of Worship,” was taken from Romans 12:1-8, and was the first of three messages given Sunday evening as the kickoff for the 2016 Florida Baptist Pastors Conference.

In pursuing his topic, Fries gave five characteristics of biblically faithful corporate worship:

  • We need and God expects corporate worship. “I wonder how often we gather together for corporate worship that costs us nothing,” Fries said. He said our corporate worship should be costly, spiritual and viewed singularly from the Lord’s perspective.
  • Worship should shape us to be like Him. Scripture gives us two ways, Fries said, to be sure of our salvation, and they do not involve recollection of a sentence prayer. Instead, we know we have truly been redeemed when we can answer yes to these two questions: Have we been transformed? Are you persevering?
  • Corporate worship should drive us to humility. “It’s terrifying to me that those of us who are defined as Southern Baptists are not defined by how humbly we approach the world around us,” Fries said.
  • Corporate gatherings should intentionally bring unity out of diversity. Fries said the book of Romans, while containing some of the greatest theological truths in all of Scripture, is designed to show how we should be able to gather two diverse, racially different groups together and worship King Jesus.
  • Our corporate gatherings ought to compel us to service. In fact, Fries said, if worship does not compel us to love and good deeds then we’re doing something wrong.

The pastors conference will run through 4 p.m. Monday at Calvary Church in Clearwater.

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