My Lament

I sat in a meeting surrounded by 18 other worship team members from our church.

I almost want to put quotes around the word “our.” Because as I listened to my fellow worship team members share their experience with the church’s current senior leadership change, I realized something.

COVID stole something precious, that filthy thief.

See, our first Sunday attending this church was the beginning of January 2020. We experienced ten weeks of a new worshiping community. We had moments of beautiful worship, the church body was full of life, and we were barely starting to get to know people. We were full of anticipation.

The last service they had before the shutdown was disconcertingly odd. The usual warm greetings with handshakes and cheek-kisses were replaced with offers of hand sanitizer.

Then the church world went dark.

It’s been a slow recovery. But our church has been decimated. To date, nothing feels right. For many months, the government mandated there be no singing in churches, limited sermons to 45 minutes (ok, so I’m on board with that one), and banned live music. UGH. Last week was the first week that the band was allowed to play in a year.

But this night with the worship team sharing showed me a bit of what has been missing: a committed community of worshipers declaring His praises with abandon.

As often happens, at the very end of the meeting, one of the worship leaders piped up. She began to give words to what I’ve been feeling. She asked if we could sing more than two songs during the services. But what she was giving voice to was a deep desire to get our roar back.

Why am I lamenting in your inbox?

I know that countries and churches have responded bewilderingly differently to 2020’s pandemic. And continue to do so.

But we’ve lost something, and if we don’t pay attention, we’ll never get it back. If we don’t fight for it, it’ll be a distant memory. We’ll stop missing it even. But God!

There is a spirit of fear over our world, in our countries, cities, churches, and homes. And we desperately need to walk in the opposite spirit.

I want you to reflect on what desires live in your heart for the life of the church and our gathered worship. Search the scriptures for models of worship to implement. Follow the well-worn path against which there is no law. (Galatians 5:22) Rediscover the passionate heart of worship and let nothing shut your mouths ever again.