For a variety of reasons in the last two years my family and I have had the privilege to visit a combination of about 40 churches, conferences and retreats. Each has had a different combination of music, teaching, and traditions displayed. It has been an great way to see how the body of Christ as a whole corporately “worships” the Lord
Here is what is interesting in our journey:
1. My children have been exposed to many approaches to teaching about Christ.
2. EVERY single leader I have met loves Jesus, with a desire to lead their congregation in “worship.” (Whether or not the people they shepherd respond.)
We have heard it said that worship is more than music and singing, it is about a life poured out for the Lord. I believe each of us connect with Him in different ways. Our personalities, upbringing and culture all play into the way we approach Jesus.
We discuss each venue we visit. My son has expressed a couple of times, “You can tell the pastor really cares about Christ, and sharing Him with us.” This is a life lived in worship. At another church we were lead to sing something that is quite popular on Christian radio right now. My daughter mentioned, “I like the song, but I never realized before it focuses more on us than the Lord.” Learning to see his face in every setting is a valuable lesson. Too often we compartmentalize our worship and teach students to do the same. We intimate, “Here at church, or youth group, the conference, at camp, in this setting this is where we worship God.” While it is amazing to be in a gathering with other Believers “worshipping” it is hardly the definition of this word. Instead all of these settings have taught us this:
Worship is about learning to be in awe of God in every setting, in every moment of every day.
My family has begun to take a look at what worship looks like in our daily routine. Christ is in the choice we make to put others first, the time we take to be still and just KNOW He is God, sitting at the ocean and breathing in salt air and crystal blue water. Sometimes worship does come through singing or the Word, other times it is in service, always it is in the everyday learning to know Christ and bring the Good News to a broken world.
One pastor said something profound that has sat with me for a year now. He said we use the word “AWESOME,” for too many things these days. “Ice cream is not awesome,” he mentioned. “I do not sit in awe of a frozen treat.” Instead there is only one that should sweep our breath our way and leave us in awe of who He is. Every other god expects us to be on a journey to get to them. There is only one true God worthy of worship who came here to make the journey with us. Worship should and does extend far behind the walls of any program.
Can we remind this generation to worship? What are you doing?