Thursday

An Expanded Understanding of Corporate Worship

In my experience with God, coming to Him in worship is a glorious thing, and there are several interesting things that happen when I'm in his presence worshiping.

One of the things that I've observed that happens in that place is what I am calling freedom in creative expression. I noticed it first when playing an instrument in a worship band: it's like I'm a better musician in His presence than I was ten minutes before. It's certainly easier to sing spontaneously in that place, and my instrument is more responsive to me there, too.

In some places, we've recognized that other creative expression is released in worship, and some worship events now have artists painting during worship. Occasionally a dancer will be part of the worship ream, too.

Prophetic expression, which I would argue is also a creative expression, is also freer when in association. That's why Elisha said "Bring me a minstrel," when he needed to prophesy to an ungodly king, and why prophetic ministry often comes during or after worship.

And that's about as far as I've ever seen it taken, at least publicly.

The question occurs to me: why should the musicians (and maybe a painter or prophet) get all of the fun? Do we think that the other gifts don't count as much, or that they wouldn't benefit from the anointing as much?

Occasionally, I've taken it a little further. Sometimes during corporate worship, I've snuck off in a corner and drawn on the anointing that is in God's presence with my writing, or in study, wielding my teaching gift. I'm sure that others have done this, too; I've just never met them. (I know: now my secret is out!)

I'd love to experiment with: how far could we take the idea of exercising whatever gift we happen to have as an expression of worship?

What would happen if we blessed teachers and scribes and writers and poets to worship in the corporate gathering with their gifts, too? What if we made room to experience the results of their gifting, like we listen to the work of the guitarist's and the drummer's giftings?

What if we gave space to tattoo artists, to graffiti artists, to mimes, to potters and sculptors and chefs and jewelry makers and leather workers and wood carvers and pipe makers and hair stylists and massage therapists? Who was it that decided that their gifts weren't appropriate to worship our Heavenly Father with?

Obviously, I'm just letting the thoughts run free here (as I'm worshipping, actually), but I can't get away from the question: how far can we take this? How many more people can we release to worship God in the community with the gifts that God has given them?

(Curiously, as I sat in a small corporate worship environment, compelled to write these thoughts on a mobile device, at the same time a prophet friend of mine, a writer, was outlining the same topic, having been drawn into it unexpectedly in a private time with God.)


1 comment:

Kaylani said...

I've been imagining a Worship Party at my big yellow house with exactly these ideas in mind. All gifts and expressive outlets welcome, plenty of space, no expectation, no formula or plan, lots of Holy Spirit. I think you've prompted me to act on my imaginings!