Wired for worship

woman-worshipping

I have been a worship leader for many years now, which means I think about the whole subject of worship quite regularly and extensively. I’ve also read a lot of books about it. That by no means makes me an expert, as I think we can spend our whole lives learning more about worshipping our king.

My aim in posting this devotional series is for us to explore together what it truly means to cultivate a lifestyle of worship – every day. So let’s begin…

‘For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.’ Colossians 1:15

Reflections based on Colossians 1:15–23:

Everyone on this earth was made for worship; it is an inbuilt thing. We were made by God, for God. If we aren’t worshipping God we are worshipping something else.

Worship comes from the Old English word ‘Worth-ship’ and it really is about honouring what we value the most. As Louie Giglio, in his book The Air I Breathe, says: ‘Right this very instant, all across your city or town, people of all shapes and sizes, people of every age and purpose are doing it – continually making decisions based on what they value most. Worship happens everywhere…all day long.’

When we look at it from this perspective, the idea of ‘worship as a lifestyle’ doesn’t seem so alien.

Our passage in Colossians looks at how Jesus existed before time, was there helping his father create the world and also reconciled us to God. As verse 17 indicates, ‘He existed before anything else,
 and he holds all creation together.’ There is so much in there to ponder – try reading back through the passage slowly and see how your spirit responds to the enormous truths contained in it.

You may not feel like worshipping God today. Life is hard and none of us are immune to difficult circumstances. But even if you don’t feel it, the way you live your life reveals what it is that you worship. Your ideals, priorities etc are all based on what it is that you value most. That is simply the way you were made. And for those of you who, like me, have a tendency towards self-sufficiency, do really take time to ponder the question below.

Question: Think about what you prioritise in terms of your time and money. What does that reveal to you about what you value most?

 

Lessons from the cheese box

This morning I opened the fridge door and immediately spotted that the box that we keep our cheese in had moved shelves. My family had been staying for the weekend and had looked after our kids while we were out, so they had obviously put it back in a different place. I was intrigued by my response: I was both offended and surprised.

The offence came from my immediate reaction: “What’s the cheese box doing there? That’s not where it lives!” and the surprise, “Hmm, it looks neater there – perhaps that’s a better spot”.

As I shut the fridge door I felt God whisper to me, “That’s your response when people do things differently to you”. I knew He was talking about the ‘offended’ response. Ouch.

As part of a leadership training course I’m attending, we’ve spent time looking at how well we foster new leaders. I’ve started asking myself these sorts of questions:

Do I encourage others into new leadership roles or am I fearful of what that might mean for me?

Do I always ‘need’ to be involved in new initiatives or am I happy to see others bring them into fruition?

Do I gladly embrace new ways of doing things suggested by other people or do I do so half-heartedly, grumbling in my heart that it will never work and ‘knowing’ that mine is the better way?

Am I seeking to raise up other leaders who will be able to take over the roles I am currently in, or am I holding on too tightly?

To read the rest of this article please click here.

Women in worship

At the end of last year I had the privilege of putting together an article on women in worship for Woman Alive, which has just been published. As a worship leader myself, who is definitely in the minority as a woman amongst a male-dominated worship team, this is definitely a subject that is on my heart. I was in contact with some great worship leaders that I’m sure you will recognise. I’ve pasted the images of the article below, but they can also be found on the page of my site that includes other examples of my work: writing. As I know there are many women out there who need an extra boost of encouragement to carry on going I am hoping to develop this idea further. So I’d love to hear from any other female worship leaders about your experiences – and also from any women in local congregations. What is your experience of sung worship at your church? I hope and pray that all your giftings are encouraged and given space to be expressed 🙂