Worship As A Conversation With God
Have you ever been in one of those "conversations" where it really wasn't a conversation at all? For the most part, the other person just talked at you for the entire time you were together?
I have been in that situation before, both as the "listener," and admittedly, as someone who is not afraid of speaking, the “talker". (For those on the receiving end of that I offer this public apology!)
I wonder if sometimes we approach planning our church services/worship gatherings in much the same way, with God as the "listener" and us as the "talkers" for the entire time we're there.
Last summer, I attended the National Worship Leader Conference here in the Kansas City area. One of the workshops I attended was "The Worship Architect" led by Constance Cherry. It dealt primarily with the art and process of planning and designing worship services in the local church. I loved the workshop and what Dr. Cherry had to say, so naturally, I bought her book of the same title!
One of the points made in the book by the author is that our worship services are a dialogue between us and God.
Worship is not only us proclaiming who God is and what He has done, but it also allowing Him to speak to us and into our lives.
Constance Cherry writes, "In it's most basic form, corporate worship is a real meeting between God and God's people. Like any meeting, this one takes place through dialogue. God speaks and listens to the gathered community; we speak and listen to God. In the course of a guided conversation (the worship order), the encounter happens."
I love this concept of worship being a dialogue between us and God.
I began to think of questions that could be asked to examine if our worship planning is done in such a way to allow space for that dialogue with God to happen.
Here are a few that I came up with:
- Do the song sets we put together allow for moments of quiet, silence, and reflection, at which point we allow God to speak to us?
- Are we, during the prayer times in the service, allowing time for God to speak to us?
- Finally, on a personal level, are we pausing to hear what God has to say about what He wants to do in and through us as leaders in the service? Or, in our planning and prayer time, are we just dictating to God what we'd like to see happen?
To the extent that worship is about us telling God what we think of Him (i.e. He is love, grace, Savior, glorious, powerful, strong, healer, etc.), it is also about God telling us what He thinks of us, what He has for us, and what He is calling us to.
Worship as a conversation with God.
Don't you think that's a beautiful concept and picture of what worship could and should be?
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