Thursday, September 09, 2010

Cambodian Vacation

Sean was talking with the band before a Saturday Night Service recently and he began to challenge the band in how we lead others into worship. He was fairly straightforward, helping us understand that we have a responsibility not only to lead others into God’s presence but that we should lead from a place of personal worship with God beforehand.

Let me illustrate it this way...

You’ve been thinking about Cambodia lately.

Yes, Cambodia. Why? I wish I had an answer for you but these are your thoughts.

You’ve heard some people talking about it, you read about it online and now you’ve got some vacation time saved up so it’s been on your mind.

Here are two experiences you have to shape your decision.

You’re sitting in your favorite cafĂ©. You’ve got a website about Cambodia up and there is a screen peeper sitting by you who glances at your laptop and casually says:

“Cambodia, huh?”

Your one word reply of “yeah” is all you give but he continues to talk about how he saw an article recently in some travel magazine. He might pique your interest. He says he had looked at the pictures and it seemed like a nice place so he suggests you should visit and tells you the magazine’s name. You reply with a thanks and probably think nothing of it except that you might eventually get around to reading that article. Either way he definitely hasn’t influenced your decision to go.

The man carries off his macchiato. You continue staring at your screen.

A second individual, overhearing the interaction moves over for a quick introduction.

“Hi there, my name is Steve. I heard you talking about Cambodia just now. You know, I just returned from a weeklong trip there.”

Now this time you’re not likely to just write this man off. He has more than just piqued your interest. In fact, you’ve already got a dozen questions ready and his full attention.

The difference is the experience.

As worship leaders, our job isn’t just to give you the highlights about God. We should offer more than just some scriptures where you can find Him and some songs that say you love Him. I want my worship to come from a place where I’ve already experienced God in a personal way. I want God to be speaking to me all week and for the weekend to be the overflow of the love and worship developed in our relationship.

This isn’t just for worship leaders. I want to see all Christians engaged with God throughout their day so that when they share Christ with others it is more than just a scripture reference or a tract. I want to see Christians talk about their faith from a point of personal experience. I don’t want to hear generic God-talk. I want to hear about how you specifically and uniquely have experienced God in your life. I also challenge myself to do the same here.

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