In The Dangerous Act of Worship, pastor Mark Labberton discusses the implications true worship - not just songs - has on a body of believers. This book is a treatise on what the author defines as that which matters most - worship. Dr. Labberton writes that "worship turns out to be the dangerous act of waking up to God and to the purposes of God in the world, and then living lives that actually show it." The last bit is the part we so often forget about.
Dr. Labberton feels that we are too self-centered in our worship. Seem like an oxymoron? It is. Worship does not stop in singing to God, in hearing the preaching of his Word, in making our requests known to our Father. It continues in loving our neighbor, in seeking justice for the downtrodden, in renewing our communities. If we are true worshipers, our worship will "expose our cultural and even spiritual complacency toward a world of suffering and injustice."
"Waking up is the dangerous act of worship. It's dangerous because worship is meant to produce lives fully attentive to reality as God sees it, and that's more than most of us want to deal with." This book is Dr. Labberton's wake up call to the church. He writes, "nothing is more important than for us to wake up and practice the dangerous act of worship, living God's call to justice."
Dr. Labberton then looks at some of the specific dangers of worship - false ones as well as actual ones. The false dangers are ones that we think are dangers within worship (relevance, expectations, etc.). The true dangers of worship are those that are false about God and his word. The biggest danger of all, though, is encountering God. Too often, Christians merely have a "friendly relationship" with God (which is fine - we are called friends of God), but we also need a healthy fear of the Lord, an awe of the holy, a wonder at the person of Jesus. When we truly encounter God, everything we call normal is redefined & we are nearly powerless to do anything but seek his kingdom.
This is not a casual read. It will make you uncomfortable & will challenge your conception of worship. There is a study guide included in this book, if you would like to take a leadership team or staff through, also.