Episode 022: The Purpose of Sunday

Sundays come around with an alarming regularity. As we plan for our weekly worship services, the constancy of the calendar can inhibit us from stopping to focus on the lens through which we plan or what our end-goal should be. In this conversation, we talk about the factors we consider as we plan worship services that allow people to meet Jesus, to be formed into disciples, and to encounter God.


Mission, formation, and encounter are the three broad approaches to worship… I’m of the opinion that we are meant to hold all three of these together in tension…


Each service should have elements of all three but there are different elements for each service… for instance, I know that on Easter and Christmas Eve we will be filled with guests… so I need to have a service that day that emphasizes that…


At the end of 52 weeks, we should be able to look at our worship and see all three in healthy tension and balance throughout the church year…


If you want to make your team a bit uncomfortable, take a look at the songs you’ve sung over the last year and ask this question, “If people’s view of God was formed solely by these songs, what kind of God is that…have we said anything about who he is or just how we feel about him?”


By doing weekly communion, it’s made us as preachers preach towards the Table… the end of the sermon is turning to God and asking for his grace again… the gospel proclamation moment reaches the lost, forms the faithful, and creates encounter—somehow, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus meets us when we come to the Table…


Singing, sermon, sacraments, and prayers should mirror all three of these things… to ignore any of them is to do so at your peril… embracing them helps the church come to maturity…




  • What do you think about the “mission, formation, encounter” grid? Would you add any?
  • Which of the three does your church do best? Worst? Why?
  • What can you do to grow in a balanced approach to worship?




Andy Stanley – Deep and Wide

James K. A. Smith – Desiring the Kingdom

Glenn Packiam – Discover the Mystery of Faith

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *