Pondering the nine pathways I find myself to be a blend of the Intellectual, the Enthusiast, the Contemplative and the Naturalist. When I lived in Canada I would go to the ocean side and read the word for a while, then simply sit absorbing the presence of God in the mountains and the sea. Time would fly by with an hour or two feeling like five minutes. I would get up from the beach feeling so refreshed. I also love music and corporate worship. To me the presence of God is so tangible in those situations. I can feel His presence at times like that.
As a new church, and particularly a Vineyard church, we place a huge value on worship led by musicians. Due to many reasons too numerous to state here we have had an interesting journey with that phase of our service we call worship. Some weekends we have been blessed by incredibly anointed worship leaders who have led us into the presence of the Lord. Other weeks we have not had a worship leader who could play an instrument. That has forced us to look at other creative forms of worship.
I find that a struggle because a worship team of musicians makes it so easy for me to enter into His presence. We have had to think outside ‘Jim’s box’ and see what else we could do. This past weekend my son, Joel, said, ‘for worship I’m going to do communion’. He and his son built a cross and brought it to the hall we are renting on Sundays. We started the service with prayer then the anointed announcements (under 3 minutes), and then a young man in our congregation shared a 5-minute message. At this point Joel took over. He said his 6-year-old son, Warwick, would hold the cross while we listened to a contemporary worship song about redemption. At the end of that time he served communion. Warwick with a look of awe upon his face held the cross during two renditions of the worship song. The cross was at least 6 feet tall and he isn’t very tall. As the song went on Joel asked Cameron, also 6, to come and help Warwick. Spontaneously Joel’s twin daughters, 4, knelt at the foot of the cross. My wife, Bonnie, was all tears. It was very powerful for me. I could sense the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit in the room.
Wow, it was powerful and outside of my worship ‘box’! The little boy, Cameron, told Joel and Bonnie in the kid’s time that he could feel the presence of the Lord while he held it. No one had mentioned the presence of the Holy Spirit during the meeting or in the children’s time together. At 6 he simply knew God was in the house.
I know of a couple of church that had 3 or 4 worship bands that played on a Sunday rotation. The leaders of the worship team in both churches put a moratorium on bands playing for a period of time as they recognised that people were not entering into worship but rather rating the bands on performance and choosing which one they preferred to listen to. The leaders stopped the bands because they wanted to see their people engage with Jesus during their times of worship. They wanted their hearts to be touched once again.
What did Matt Redman write again? Oh, yeah – ‘I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about you, Jesus’.
(image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)