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Church Professionals Retreat (CPR) & the Word “Meaningful”

The Church Professionals Retreat, or “CPR” is organized every year to provide meaningful worship, growth, and fellowship opportunities for professional church workers in the Lutheran Church– Missouri Synod.

What I find interesting is that word ‘meaningful’ included in the above description (http://churchproretreat.com/index.html).

Why the need for the word, “meaningful”?  Meaningful worship…Meaningful growth…Meaningful fellowship…  Isn’t all truly Christian worship, growth, and fellowship meaningful?

I guess one could argue “no.”  But this begs the question, what is truly Christian worship, growth, and fellowship?  If these are truly Christian, they have to be meaningful, not, however, because everyone defines them as such.

Christian worship is meaningful not because we are giving to God our worship, but because God is giving to us His Word and promise through Jesus Christ.  Christian worship is that which believes God and says “Amen” to His Holy Word, “saying back to God what He has said to us.”  If Christian worship is defined as meaningful because the Christian is defining it to be so, then what of God’s Word being the determining factor in such matters, not the sinner?

The same could be said with reference to “meaningful” growth.  What is the basis for determining whether growth is “meaningful?”  What we get out of it?  What it “does” for us?  How much we grow?  How many grow?  What of sin and repentance?  What of confession and absolution?  What of learning Christ?  What of God’s Word?

Surely, CPR isn’t suggesting that we (and not God) establish the basis for what’s meaningful with regard to worship or growth or fellowship!

With regard to fellowship, how can it not be “meaningful,” as Christians, united in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, come together to receive the Lord’s Supper?  This may not be what CPR is referring to, but in its truest sense, Christian “fellowship” has to do with communing with one at the Lord’s Supper, fellowship with Christ and with members of His body, the church.

Fellowship can and does, of course, have various meanings in the church.  But even here, what is Christian fellowship, even in a nontechnical sense, but Christians being together?  And how can this not be meaningful already?

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