Wednesday, March 19, 2014
What Is Convergence Worship - Convergence Anglican Church
What is Convergence Worship?
The simple definition is — a blending of the three major streams of the Church — Sacramental, Bible-believing (evangelical), and Spirit-filled.
In many churches there are one or two of the streams that are expressed. But that is like a three legged stool that has one or two of the legs missing. We may be able to hold it up for a time, but it was built to stand on all three legs, so the stool is not functioning at its finest. As we look into the Book of Acts and early church history, we see that they were functioning in all three of these streams. For a better understanding, let’s take a look at each stream.
The first stream is the sacramental. A sacrament is an outward and physical sign of an inward and spiritual grace. Basically, a sacrament takes that which is natural and with the blessing of God becomes something supernatural to benefit the believer. The Eucharist is an example of this. Natural bread and wine are blessed and they become the body and blood of Jesus. These are Jesus’ words from John’s Gospel. This is not just a Roman Catholic “thing” but a Gospel thing. Baptism uses water and oil — natural things — but God supernaturally places us into his covenant family. Unction, or anointing of the sick, uses oil that is blessed to bring about supernatural healing. You see, God has always taken that which is natural and blessed it to become supernatural to bless His people.
Also in this stream we should understand that in our worship the focus is not on what we can receive. It is about us bringing heaven to earth and worshipping the maker of Heaven and Earth — the Holy Trinity. It’s not about us getting a blessing or having some experience. It is primarily about us worshipping God. But as we worship Him first, He in turn blesses us and we experience His presence in our lives.
The second stream is Bible-believing (evangelical). What does this mean? We believe the Bible to be God’s inspired Word. The Bible does not just contain the Word of God, but is the Word of God. We can’t pick and choose to believe what we like and throw away what we don’t like. Our preaching and teaching must be Bible based. We look to the traditions of the Church, but our primary source is Holy Scripture. Also within this stream is the understanding that you need to have a personal encounter with Jesus. You must personally come to faith. The promises that were made on our behalf must be accepted by us. Another important thing that is expressed is sharing ones faith. In the Great Commission, Jesus tell his disciples to Go into all the world preaching (proclaiming) the Good News. So each believer is to share their faith.
The third stream is the Spirit-filled (charismatic) stream. The Church has always been a Church that has been empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Church was born on the Day of Pentecost. All one needs to do is read Acts 2 and see what happened. Within this stream we believe that each and every believer can and should receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. This empowerment is what God gives to believers to help us live the Christian life. Also, there is an emphasis on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as outlined in First Corinthians 12 and 14. God, the Holy Spirit, wants to give these gifts to the Church so we can see people come to faith and wholeness. Within this stream there is a spontaneity of worship that arises within the context of the liturgy. The Holy Spirit breathes life into the liturgy. Many people say that the liturgy is dead. But liturgy is not dead or alive, it is either true of false. What is alive or dead is the people. The Holy Spirit has been given to make us alive in Christ Jesus.
Convergence Worship is the blending of all three of these streams into one expression of His Church. We can’t pick and choose which one we like and let that one be our favorite. We as the Church are fully sacramental, fully Bible-believing, and fully Spirit-filled. Let’s embrace the three streams and let the river of God flow through our lives and the lives of those around us.