I had a truly amazing weekend. Our church, Destination, had a special guest in this week. His name is Tommy Stanley and he is the pastor of a New Frontiers church in Lee Summit, Kansas.
Our initial time with him was in a leader's gathering on Friday night. We all shared a meal together and then Tommy spent some time with us talking about worship.
Now you have to understand that just being in a home with all these young men and women that I LOVE in my church was an amazing blessing. We shared a meal and got to catch up with friends and then to top it off, we got to hear Tommy.
He began by talking about Romans 12:1-2 - a very familiar passage that I love. He was talking about coming into worship with an expectation.
Expectation: a strong belief that something will happen
He asked us what we expected when we walked into the worship service on Sunday morning.
So - I'll ask you that same question. What do you expect when you walk into your church?
Hmmm . . . there are a lot of possible answers here. When I thought about it, I thought of things like fellowship, singing, worship, hearing the Word and being challenged.
But . . . do I expect God to show up in a BIG and UNEXPECTED way? Is there room for that?
It is a challenging thought. What if it messes up the timing? What if the service runs long (yikes!) What if it gets messy?
It was challenging and it was so good.
We started with the phrase in Romans 12:1 - "in view of God's mercies . . ."
Wow - just ponder that for a moment. God's mercies. Now that is a solid basis for a thought on worship. It is all about His mercies. In view of all that He has done for me - worship is my natural response. In fact, it is the only response that makes any sense.
I want to wake up on Sunday morning with a holy expectation about what the Lord is up to. Actually, I want to wake up every day of the week like that - but this was specifically talking about worship at our church.
One of the ways that we were challenged was to sing a new song to the Lord. This does happen from time to time in our service. Someone will speak to the pastor and then come up to a microphone and sing a song that the Lord has given them. It is pretty amazing.
At this seminar on Saturday, we were all challenged to read Psalm 91 and then one by one, sing a song to the Lord. Adam, our worship leader, played his guitar and we took turns singing.
Can you say INTIMIDATING? But really, it reminded me that it was about singing to the Lord, not putting on a concert. It didn't matter if your voice was beautiful or if you were making a joyful noise to the Lord. It came from the heart . . . the heart of worship.
It was a freeing experience. It gave us a better understanding and appreciation of one another's heart. It was a sweet time.
I walked into worship on Sunday morning with an expectation that God was going to show up and do something that would surprise me. I expected that He would touch hearts and that the Holy Spirit would speak. I expected to meet Jesus.
I was not disappointed.
What are you expecting?