Expressing our hearts to the Lord

Expressing our hearts to the Lord

“Corporate worship is a weekly event that God uses to shape our people’s souls over the course of decades.” This quote is why our worship together as a church family, week after week, is so valuable to me! Our services…the songs we sing, the prayers we offer, the Word preached…are not only an opportunity to express our hearts to the Lord, they are also when we are shaped by the Lord into the people he has made and called us to be.

I am grateful to God for the pastors, teachers, and mentors he has brought into my life over the years who have shaped my understanding of corporate worship. The list isn’t long—but each of these people have made a lasting impact on how I pastor others in worship. And I am especially grateful and excited for you to meet one of these influential people!

This Sunday we will be joined by the author of that quote above. Zac Hicks–pastor, author, professor, church planter, and worship leader–will be preaching in worship this Sunday morning. He will also lead our Prayer & Worship Night in the evening at 6:00 pm. And I can’t wait for you to meet him!

Zac was one of my and Pastor Julie’s professors at Knox Theological Seminary. He wrote a foundational work on worship in the church called The Worship Pastor: A Call to Ministry for Worship Leaders and Teams that greatly influenced how I view worship and the role of the worship pastor in the gathering from a biblical and gospel-centered perspective.

Not only does Zac teach and write, he is also a church planting pastor in the EPC that is supported by Chapel Hill through our Beyond These Walls initiative. Zac and his team have launched Church of the Cross in Birmingham, Alabama. Their God-given dream as a new church is to reach and minister to those who are “deconstructing” their faith, many of whom grew up in churches that emphasized moralism instead of the grace found in the gospel. Cara Taylor, our Outreach Director and coordinator of Beyond These Walls, shared a recent report from Zac that their church is already growing quickly—so much so that they have outgrown their current building!

I look forward to the word God has given Zac to share with us. Be sure to join us in person and invite someone to come with you this Sunday! We will come together for our morning services, which will include the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

And then be sure to come back at 6:00 pm on Sunday for our next Prayer and Worship Night. This is such a powerful time as we continue our year of praying for revival– asking God to bring new life and transformation to our church and community for his glory. Again and again, I hear reports of how impactful these nights are. So, if you haven’t been to one of these gatherings yet, you won’t want to miss it!

My prayer, as we prepare our hearts for Sunday, is that the Lord would be at work in our midst, that we might express our worship to him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and that he would shape us more and more into the image and likeness of his Son, from one degree of glory to the next!

Pastor Gunnar