This place is primarily a tool for the worshipers of Uptown Church. While’s its usefulness may or may not extend beyond that, our foremost concern is to provide help, direction, preparatory material, &c. for the people of God who gather each Lord’s Day at Uptown Church, in Uptown Charlotte.
We, the gathered body of Uptown Church, are a people who live in an age of abject consumerism. We are marketed to as though we are gods, deserving of every high praise and honor and service. A thing’s goodness or badness is quantified by our approval of it and pleasure in it. Its worth is fundamentally married to our estimation, and there is no higher criterion than our demand.
And yet we know that this is a lie. There is much that we value more than we ought (idolatry), and much that we do not value enough (foolishness). Ultimate value is intrinsic, regardless of whether we see it.
We, the gathered body of Uptown Church, are a people who live in an age of unrivaled individualism. We are told that that our value lies in our novelty, uniqueness, and distinction- our capacity to stand out rather than fit in. A person’s merit is quantified by his or her capacity to live life in a vacuum, as a lone ranger, needing nothing from nobody.
And yet we know that this is a lie. Because God has redeemed a people to himself. And he draws this people from every corner of the world, from every tribe, nation, language and tongue, and makes them one. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (1 Cor. 12:21)
When we gather for worship, many things are working against us.
The busyness of life works against us. Silence sounds strange, and rest is as foreign as a fish out of water. But in worship we are to be still and be silent and rest.
Our individualism works against us. All of life encourages us to evaluate, critique, discriminate and judge. We are connoisseurs of everything. But in worship, we are to sit in humble submission under the Word of God, and respond to His prompting.
Our consumerism works against us. Marketing and advertising would have us believe that we are the end of all things, that we are the main character in our own movie, that it is about me. But in worship, I and my therapy are not the point. God in covenantal relationship with His people is the point. His honor and glory, extending throughout the world in all ages among all peoples is the point.
The ambition of this place is more and better worship. And as with any human effort, it is meaningless without the Spirit. So I pray the Lord would bless this space, and use it for His glory. We should remember that worship is a drama, a dialogical play between God and His people. Worship is not something we come to observe, it is something God calls us to come and do.
And now, a list of “intentions” in no particular order except that the first intention is intended to be first.
- to post the liturgy for Sunday each week on Friday. If there are less familiar songs, I will include links or helps of some sort. If there are unfamiliar elements, I will include brief explanations. Creeds, confessions, readings, &c. will be included. We are actors, coming to enact the gospel with our great God. So it is best if we have the script ahead of time!
- to post original content pertaining to worship, and the intersections of truth, goodness, and beauty with the Holy.
- to link to material that may be useful for deepening our understanding of worship.
- to commission the material of others in the church on different topics.
- to encourage discussion and community as we press on to know God and each other.
If you are a member or regular attender of Uptown Church, our hope is that you will make this a repeating stop on your internet journeys.
Soli Deo Gloria!