“Our main problem in the Christian life is not that we don’t try hard enough to be good, but that we haven’t thought out the deep implications of the gospel and applied its powerful reality to all parts of our life. Real spiritual growth happens as we continually rediscover the gospel.
The same dynamic explains the primary purpose of corporate worship: to rediscover the mighty acts of God in Christ’s coming to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. We gather in worship to celebrate God’s grip on us, not our grip on God.
A gospel-fueled worship service is a service where God’s rescue in Christ is unveiled and unpacked through song, sermon, and sacrament in such a way that it results in the exposure of both the idols of our culture and the idols of our hearts.
The faithful exposition of our true Savior in every element of worship will painfully, but liberatingly, reveal the subtle ways in which we as individuals and as a culture depend on lesser things than Jesus to provide the security, acceptance, protection, affection, meaning, and satisfaction that only Christ can supply.
The praising, praying, and preaching in such a service should constantly show just how relevant and necessary Jesus is. They must serve the gospel to sinners by telling and retelling the story that while we are all great sinners, Christ is a great Savior.
When we gather together for worship, we ought to come reaching up, starved for God, ready to feast together on the good news that, in the person of Jesus Christ, God has descended to us because we could never ascend to Him.
Feasting on God’s gospel together through prayer and preaching, sacrament and singing, provides us with the faith, hope, and love we need to be good-news people in a bad-news world.”
–Tullian Tchividjian, “Worship: It’s a Big Deal,” in Don’t Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith For a New Day, Ed. Kevin DeYoung (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 222-223.