Every local church has its own culture; apart from the doctrinal commonalities to other local groups, each church makes its own environment. That environment either enables or inhibits the work of that church. You are the people who create the culture at Tidewater.
I thought it might be good to add an element of preparation to this weekend’s lessons, a cautionary tale from I Kings 12. What you have there are two extremes that have been the traditional, historical reactions of people (for our purposes, the church) to the developments around them (we might call that “culture”). This account tells of the division of the kingdom of Israel into two factions, each following a different king (Rehoboam or Jeroboam). Israel was different than it was during the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon, and the people were reacting to those changes.
On one hand, you have Rehoboam, who is linking himself to tradition (in an extreme way), and he consulted men, but he did not consult God. On the other hand, you have Jeroboam, who has embraced changes and innovation, and he has also arrived at his conclusions through human reasoning, and not from God’s will. Although they both fear different things, it is fear that drives both these men.
Instead of giving in to that kind of desperate, fearful thinking, we must ask some hard questions this weekend: How do we create the environment for proper, heartfelt worship that actually glorifies God? And how do we function (work) as a church that accomplishes His will, and not to please ourselves or simply check off boxes?
Come and see!