So I grew up in a “Pentecostal” family. We attended a few different churches when I was a kid because my dad was a pastor in a large denomination, so they would use him/us as a transition pastor. Every time a pastor would leave or get fired we would show up to fill in the gap until the new suit arrived. One Sunday we didn’t have a place to be, so we visited a family member’s church. I liked it ok. There were kids my age there and I was able to make friends quickly. So it was worship time… I remember standing there and all of a sudden a lady two rows in front of me started yelling at the top of her lungs and started to spin around like a helicopter… it freaked me out. I asked my mom and dad what was wrong with her and they said that “The Spirit” got a hold of her… it freaked me out. I didn’t want the spirit to get me too. That was crazy!!! (I already believed in ghosts and that aliens could abduct me. Thanks a whole heap “Unsolved Mysteries”!!) I personally believe that the spirit can get a hold of you and you can act peculiar to this world. But scaring people and making a spectacle of yourself… Is this worship? I will leave the answer to that one up to God.
Worship is a strange thing. In today’s churches a lot of it is consumed with program with a scheduled itinerary. It has in some cases become a soap box for people to show off or to push their own talent into the spotlight. “I mean, let’s face it. The place is already packed. Why don’t I just go out there and knock their socks off with my amazing talent! I don’t have to worry about someone turning around in their chair and hitting a button for me to get noticed!”. This is not worship. As a whole we are told to worship God with all that we have. The bible says that the kind of worship that God desires is worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23) Are you worshiping? Or are you showing off? Or perhaps you just used it as personal knock in your spiritual belt.
With all the music and lights and gifts that God has given people it’s easy to get lost in the stage. I have told many students that the stage can be an extremely intoxicating place. To quote a Flyleaf song: “Welcome to the machine, it’s a currency generator. And then it’s a guillotine. A mirror held up to your own behavior.” From a musician’s standpoint it can be a very dangerous place to be. From a Church attendee it can be just as dangerous. Don’t get me wrong here. Worship isn’t dangerous. WE are dangerous. WE the church, the people of God… humans. WE are dangerous. We judge worship. “Oh, the sermon was good, but the worship sucked.” Or “The worship was great except that one lady on stage who was singing a bit off key, and (you know who) next to her was wearing something a little too inappropriate for a Sunday! Ugh jeans on stage! She’s going to hell”. Welcome to the dysfunction over worship and what it’s really about.
Worship at its root definition is: The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for God, Jesus, & the Holy Spirit. I can really only speak for me. When I am on stage, my goal as a leader is to lead others in worship. To help set aside our daily differences and our stresses of the day or week or month and to let it go and help you focus on Jesus. I’m not concerned about hitting that solo perfectly, or if my voice might crack during the bridge. (Granted these thoughts pass through my head at one point or another). Worship isn’t something that takes place on a stage. It takes place in a heart. Worship is not a weapon for personal gain or church politics. It is not a tool to try and get ahead in the screwed up church government. Worship is the most selfless thing as a follower of Christ that you get the opportunity to do and after truly experiencing it you want it more and more. Just remember, not everything is about you. Because it’s not about us… It’s about him.
Derek, Sarah, & David
The Nameless Movement