In coming to realize that there must be much more to worship than the corporate worship leader directing the congregation–that this is a method rather than a principle, and is therefore subject to change; and in realizing that this method is growing stale on us; and in realizing that worship is supposed to come from an overflow response to what God has done and is doing in our lives…we began to ask the question:
“If you were going to form your own response to God to what He’s doing in your life, what would that look like?”
What we meant by posing that question is this: if we are going to expand our expression of worship beyond the box of the corporate singing time (which we aren’t abandoning totally, btw), then that means our worship is going to be re-shaped. And how we respond to God is what is going to re-shape that worship. Our worship needs to be shaped according to what God is doing in His people here. So by asking the question above, we were placing the responsibility upon the people to sense the work of God in their lives and respond to it.
We gave a sort of assignment to our people to come up with some sort of offering of worship to God, according to gift and ability. We told them to take off the mindsets in thinking about this. It could be a song or dance, or the usual forms of worship, but it didn’t have to be. Nothing was off limits (except, of course, it needed to be moral). 🙂 It could be a Scripture, a devotional, a poem, a drawing, a demonstration of some sort–anything that was an honest response or gift to bring to God. We decided to do about 2 or 3 of these per week, and just see where it took us. And so we’ve launched an experiment that will probably last several months at least–a journey that we hope will show us how our worship is going to be re-shaped.
Last Sunday, we opened the floor to the first three people. The first girl shared a poetic writing full of emotion and insight that instantly brought us to tears. This was followed by a journal entry and another piece of writing, both equally beautiful. And our hearts responded to Jesus through them–in worship. No music. No “everybody-sing-with-me-now.” But worship.
I have heard of some of the offerings that are going to be brought in the days ahead, and some of them sound very out-of-the-box and creative. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂