Over the years I’ve encountered many situations that forced me to deal with conflict. Naturally, I’m a non-confrontational leader. I’d prefer to have peace. However, what these situations have taught me are a valuable part of what God is creating me to be — not just as a “leader” but as a worshiper and follower of Jesus.
If you grew up like me, you grew up in a home that did a great job of celebrating the birth of Jesus each year, but without much liturgy. I didn’t grow up in a liturgical church so it should be no surprise that liturgy wasn’t a part of our our celebrations. In fact, I didn’t really know what Advent was until I was a worship pastor at a church and my lead pastor said we should have Advent candles in our services this season. I said, absolutely…then quickly googled “advent candles”.
Growing up in a pentecostal tradition I’ve heard a lot of pre-message sermons on faith. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the pre-message sermon, that’s the sermon you get before the regular sermon. It can be anywhere in the service, but pentecostal pastors like to give their congregants their money’s worth — so we normally get 2 sermons. (Sorry for that rabbit trail…see I make a good pentecostal preacher).
So, as I was saying, I’ve heard a lot about faith — mostly in the context of moving or doing something. We even have a phrase for it: stepping out in faith. It’s a very biblical concept. After all, Peter stepped out of the boat and walk on water (Matthew 14) — albeit for a brief moment, but nonetheless he stepped out of the boat.
The other day I was talking with a friend who said, “My favorite part of worship is when the drums build into an exciting climax.” This is not an unfamiliar statement. I’ve heard similar comments like this before — you may have too. I love my friend and know he loves Jesus, but whenever I hear comments like this concerning worship it vexes my spirit.
Don’t misunderstand me. I love music. I love musical dynamics. In fact, music isn’t musical without dynamics. I believe God made us emotional beings. I believe that to strip ourselves of emotions when we worship God devalues who God created us to be. (Everything in balance of course.)