When I started this position at Logos Central Chapel, I did not want to make any drastic changes.
I’ve heard the horror stories of new senior pastors coming into a new church and “cleaning house.” I remember being a youth pastor while the church I was serving at hired a new senior pastor, and the other associate pastors were all wondering if he was going “clean house” and hire people that he knew, rather than working with the people currently installed. I think there is a natural desire to make things the way that you want, and senior pastors many times put their foot down. It’s a common power move.
And now that it’s been over a month since my family has been at LCC, I realize that I have brought about change, that I’ve put my foot down. The biggest change we’ve quickly implemented is twofold: the recitation of the apostle’s creed after praise and worship, and then the partaking of communion in response to the sermon.
Both of these are very near and dear to my heart for various reasons.
Reciting the apostle’s creed is a reminder to me of the person of God.
God the Father being the Creator of all reality. The Creator of this incredibly magnificent universe. The one who was able to create something out of nothing. He is the one we are drawn to when we experience the majesty and grandeur of nature: the view from the top of a mountain, the awe we feel when we star gaze, the fear we feel when we stray too deep in the ocean. And yet, that’s such a small fraction of His glory.
The apostle’s creed reminds me of the centrality of Christ and the perfection of our savior. He is the one that I want to preach every single week. I will write about this topic in the future, but my outlook on sermons is that they inherently require an aspect of the gospel, or it no longer is a sermon. I believe that when a sermon does not contain the gospel (at least a hint of the gospel or even a hint of reliance on God rather than the self) then the sermon transforms into a “talk.” I am not interested in giving persuasive talks, but I’m interested in speaking of a God who came down into this world for us, to save us, and most importantly, to love us.
The apostle’s creed reminds me of the Holy Spirit and the church. It reminds me that our goal is to follow Christ together. We do this not by our own power, but by the power the Holy Spirit grants us. We cannot follow Christ alone, because we can only follow Christ through fellowship with the Spirit. And in my relationship with the Spirit, I know that He always leads us into fellowship with one another. Fellowship that speaks truth and life to remedy the death and lies the world feeds.
Moreover, communion as a practice in response to the sermon has proven (at least for myself) beneficial. The purpose of communion is to reflect on the death of Christ and in His second coming. Because I attempt to present the gospel in one way or another, I feel that communion works as an effective time of reflection and reliance on the Holy Spirit. Rather than feeling that weekly communion weakens it’s effectiveness, I would like to say that having communion weekly puts priority in obeying Christ’s command. In obeying Christ’s command to partake in communion, we are welcoming the presence of Christ.
My goal is to make both of these practices as important as the praise and sermon. I hope that when we come to Sunday service that we look forward to reciting the apostle’s creed together, and that we anticipate reflecting on the work of Christ each and every week.
I’ll put my foot down for this.