I’ve got a good friend who, when he preaches, usually includes a prayer that asks for us to have service of worship as opposed to worship services. It sounds like semantics, but there’s a unique beauty in the distinction. It’s so easy for us to think of worship as something we go “do” on Sunday morning. But as we look for the new Heaven on Earth, our reality can become more and more that LIFE is worship, and that we are serving as an act of worship.
I’m often asked what my favorite part of being a worship leader is. Sunday mornings are great, and I love worshiping alongside the people who make up this beautiful body of believers, but one of my favorite times every week is our Wednesday night rehearsal process. Why? Because it’s a time of watching real transformation in people’s lives by the Holy Spirit through community, fellowship and music. It’s a service of worship. The beauty of a ministry that involves so many creative folks is that we are able to come together as a body of believers who want to create and experience together.
The process of rehearsing for Sunday mornings or for seasonal services becomes so much more than practicing notes on a page—it’s watching the Holy Spirit compel folks who daily battle lies from the enemy who wants to keep them on the sidelines. It’s experiencing true connection with one another as we put away technology, speak face-to-face, laugh, cry and sometimes sing. It’s worshipping as we rejoice and celebrate in the stories of transformation—like the vocalist who was told in high school that she should never sing or the one that has always felt like she needs to keep her tone at a whisper level so no one else can hear. It’s the drummer who was always told he was too loud or the band member who has always thought he wasn’t good enough. The vocalist that battles feeling unworthy to even begin to sing… But over the course of being in the midst of a group that can understand, I get to watch these same artists push back the lies and step into the gifts that God has called them to use. I get to see these step up and into the reality that we are ALL called to participate. The vocalist that’s been bullied for years steps up to the microphone to sing, by herself, to lead God’s people to His beauty. It’s service of worship.
One of my absolute favorite things to do is ask Jack Swaim to come up with a lead line on his guitar during the interlude of a song. (The interlude is the music in between verses). As Eric says in Chariots of Fire, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure,” the same goes when I get to listen to Jack play his guitar. When he plays, I sense God’s pleasure. His playing leads me to worship. He approaches his gift with a humble spirit of wanting to bring a gift. There’s no pretense and there’s no desire to be in the spotlight, but Jack is a man that has been transformed by the Holy Spirit and called to use his gifts for God’s glory. He’s motivated only by wanting to contribute to leading others in worship. It’s beautiful. It’s service of worship.
How is God calling you to step into your everyday life and create service of worship? Where are you finding times and ways to experience His glory outside of “going to church”? Are you sitting on the sidelines because you’ve been battling lies for years, believing that you can’t sing, shouldn’t sing, shouldn’t play, don’t have a gift to bring?
Come find connection with others who battle the same way you do. Join us as we prepare, not for the next worship service, but prepare because it’s a service of worship.