Monday, July 23, 2007

Excellence in Worship

A few of us were at a Promise Keepers event last weekend. The worship there, among 9000 other men, was fantastic. I don't know how everyone else felt about it, but it felt like an incredible worship experience where I was able to connect with God in a deep way.

Of course, when I try to explain it in writing, it seems... Trite.

My worship is supposed to be for God, yet I'll admit that I was benefiting from it. It isn't supposed to be just an overwhelming feeling of *emotion*, but let's be honest -- At times like these, it is. It's an emotion-based experience.

I also was thinking about how we often talk about wanting to avoid a worship service that focuses too much on "excellence" and "production." Striving to do well is a good thing, but when having things look and sound perfect becomes more of a goal than worshipping God, then we have a problem. We know this, and it's been discussed many times over, because it is nearly always an issue in large churches.

Yet Promise Keepers is a huge event, and I'll admit that the PK band, the worship leader, and the "production values" were excellent. So how much did this factor into my sense of feeling good about the worship time? How much did it impact my "emotional-connectedness" with God?

I don't know. I'll admit that for all my talk of wanting things to be less production-oriented, I'm a big fan of a high-energy worship event. So it's hard to know where the line is.

One thing that struck me was that at the event, the worship leader mentioned that they had prayed and decided just the previous day to incorporate more worship (singing) and cut some of the speaking time. He said they were calling a few "audibles" during the event as a result of this.

How often do we allow the Holy Spirit to call "audibles" during our worship?

Is it even an option? Is it a bad idea in a large church?

I know that structure isn't a bad thing, but can too much of it become a barrier?


uvualpie said...

Having never been to a Promise Keepers (and honestly, I thought that fad had died) I can't speak for "audibles" but lately my church has been experimenting with "smellibles". After the service is over we often have "edibles" in the shape of tasty donuts.

scott said...

Strangely enough, we did actually have a service in smell-o-vision sometime last fall. We had crockpots of chicken broth cooking in the back of the sanctuary to give the whole service a tasty smell.

I personally prefer the donuts to the chicken broth, however.

uvualpie said...

I'm in talks now with the elders to get sponsors for a "touchables" worship experience in which attendees are randomly provided with angora sweaters, burlap bags full of ticks, or patented LotionVests containing aloe and lanolin.