Yesterday, I had the distinguished opportunity to speak on worship to a small group of Christians at HOC3. They varied in spiritual maturity, but the vast majority either served on the worship team or sound team.
The night began late. We were scheduled to start at 7:30pm, but it wasn’t until around 8pm that people finally started gathering around. My friend, V., began be leading us in some songs. Wow. His worship leading ability has progressed to extraordinary heights. I still remember teaching him guitar only a few years ago. He’s far better than I am now…and his sensitivity in leading as well.
Right before the meeting, he actually asked me if I would like to lead worship and just kinda lead the whole evening. I kindly declined…and during worship, I was glad that I did. If I had agreed to lead, I would have just seen them respond to the way that I am accustomed to worshiping. But I really wanted to experience and see how they worshiped before I shared my reflections on worship to them.
After the worship time, V. turned the time over to me. I introduced myself and asked others to introduce themselves also. I asked them why they joined HOC3…just something to help me get a feel for where they’re at.
I then led them through an imaginative exercise. I asked them to close their eyes, “What do you see/imagine worship is like?” After fixing that idea firmly in their minds, I asked them to draw it out.
We then moved to our hallmark HOC6 “this or that” exercise. I basically presented multiple sets of scenarios asking them, “Who is a better worshiper?” Of course, the scenarios were not the type that were clear cut…most people wanted to sit on the fence…but what fun would that be? And more importantly, if there was no ambiguity and dissonance in the scenarios, there would be little or no meaningful reflection.
Afterwards, I had them sit back down and share their “worship” drawing. Most of them drew heavenly situations.
Then I began my Bible study/preaching/talk/whatever. My topic was Worship as a Journey. Yes, a very post-modern flavor. I went through Hebrews 11:39-12:1. I tried to give them a feel for why worship is more of a journey than a destination. Then I explored the topic further with three points: (1) The journey isn’t over yet – v.39; (2) The journey isn’t mine, it’s ours – v.40; (3) The journey didn’t begin with us, it began before us – v.1.
After my talk, I wanted to just end, but V. asked me to lead us in worship. I did so, hesitantly. I think I was supposed to apply some of the things that I talked about…I just winged it…not really sure if I applied anything.
I felt kinda weird after. I remember that on my way to HOC3, I was praying and realizing that I had not done much prayer to prepare. I was sick, but still…I hadn’t done much prayer to cover that evening. I think I was feeling the effects of it. I felt like people were bored..I was disorganized…stuff I was saying was going over people’s heads. Yet strangely, everyone was thanking me. V. and M. gave me very specific encouragements. Yet, I still felt uneasy about the night. I went home with those strange feelings even hoping that Y. would ask me how things went so that I could talk through it with her. But she didn’t. She just kept talking about Average Joe.
So my end-of-the-day thought is: how could I have felt such a void of spirit-movement when others seemed so confident about his presence? were they deceived? was I deceived? were they being polite? was I being to hard on myself?
I was quite honored to be there, but I felt that I was spiritually out-of-place. And I don’t know what to make of it.