I'm designed to improve things. That's how I'm built, how I see things, how I listen, watch, and think. Sometimes that makes worshipping [when I'm not leading] a real challenge. I remember saying once, "I want to be one of those simple worshippers that can just go for it no matter how uncool the music is, how whack the sound is, how whatever the whatever is." I remember seeing people next to me being lost in expressive love to Jesus, when I was being totally aware of the dynamics and technicalities of the music or sound. I needed the ability to "turn it off." Now, get this - I'm not a judgmental person, but by design [and by training] I pick up on things that could improve. That can't control me when I'm choosing to worship God...I won't let it derail me. Our worship is a response to the revelation of God, and I must be pure in heart to see Him. It's a choice...that becomes easier the more I practice it. I'm certainly not always there yet. I would love to see a world full of worshippers who will worship for... apparently no reason. ;0
Simple love & pure devotion to Jesus
In the early 90's, when I was first learning to lead from a worshipping heart, I remember Kent Henry saying that what we always need more of is simple devotion to Jesus. That really stuck. In fact, it's one of Ad Lib Music's core values: Inspiring simple love and pure devotion to Jesus. So as much as I want us to serve well, to be excellent at what is good, to make better music than we've ever heard on the radio, to hone our craft, to do our personal best... I want us SO MUCH MORE to be simple worshippers who regularly get lost in abandoned expressions of love and adoration to our Savior.
The Hoover Dam at nighttime by The Sound of Breaking
One of my favorite books is by worship leader David Crowder. It's called Praise Habit. The analogy is that we put on praise like a nun puts on her habit. There's something defining about it, something set apart, something purposeful. Here's a little seed to sow into your simple worshipper's heart...
Where were the God moments? Where was Living Praise?
Did praise happen? Could praise happen?
What if it did? Were opportunities missed?
Was praise just beneath the surface? Could it be a flood?
Maybe it's just dammed?
Maybe if the dam burst we would drown in it.
Do we dare pick up a sledgehammer and start swinging?
It could be difficult. It could wear at you. This could be hard labor.
I don't know if I have the back for it.
And I think I like my water in smaller doses.
I like the sound of the drip.
But there is cracking in my lips and they bleed when I smile.
My hands are dry to the touch. So dry I can't feel them anymore.
Pick it up? It is needed? It is what is necessary?
I want to drown. I want a different air than what I've been breathing. I will swing.
I will swing with all my might.
I will swing until there is the sound of breaking.
I will swing.
Over and Over and Over and Over and Over and Over and Over and Over and Over and Over...
[from PRAISE HABIT by David Crowder, pg. 19]