The miserable song-leader is the last true barometer of a dying church. Asking him to lead a joyful celebratory song is probably like asking an undertaker to smile at a funeral.
You would probably have to go back a good number of years to remember someone saying, “We must make sure that everything in our worship is done decently and in order.”
I was always puzzled as to why the brothers said it. I know that they were quoting 1 Corinthians 14:40, but it was not as if anything ever changed in the “order or content” of their worship services. Whether it was a cautionary statement to fend off any thoughts of innovation or a genuine belief that their “fixed order of worship” constituted what it meant that “all things are done decently and in order,” I can only guess.
And, lest anyone think that I am a major proponent of innovation, let me say that the “order or content” of the worship services at the congregation that I am blessed to preach for hasn’t changed since day one.
Every Sunday Christians come together to pray, sing, give, commune in the Lord’s Supper, and to be taught from God’s Word. But remember, that while all this can be done sitting in a building, our minds and hearts can be far away.
Jesus told the Woman at the Well: “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:23).
Without being “in spirit and truth” there is no “decently and in order.”
We can never underestimate the power of physically being in the same place together. It’s a spiritual experience in which the Holy Spirit, individually and collectively, retunes our thoughts and motives. While literally standing side by side He unites us in praise and thanksgiving to our God and Father.
That is a lot to get excited about!