The Condition Of Worship

Recently I was ministering to a group of young people, and I witnessed the Lord breathing life into the souls of a generation through worship. This is a generation that has been holding their breath, waiting to experience and live something real. Whether they find that reality in the world, or in Christ, we have encountered a generation that is only influenced and moved by reality; and I have reason to believe that there is a lack thereof within our own four walls on Sunday mornings.

Reality is something that consumes millions of viewers weekly on television. The American public is obsessed with shows like Survivor, Big Brother, and American Idol. It’s a generation that can identify something fake and can be quick to judge whether or not its real for them. It is a generation that can no longer settle for fake and routine. They are a generation they have need of something real, something that will alter their life. The effects of this generation are both a positive and negative thing for the church. Allow me to explain.

We as the church have a decision to make. What face is it that we are going to portray? Will we portray the mask of a Pharisee? A legalistic face that is driven by routine and motions, obsessed in maintaining itself, and moved by popularity and judgment. Or do we choose to reflect the face of Jesus Christ? A face that is the ultimate in reality, saturated in love, concerned with others well being, and moved by compassion and grace. This generation will not settle for anything less than what is true, and the truth remains that Jesus is the one thing they need to encounter, face to face.

A generation is literally holding its breathe, waiting to accept something but, what they except has yet to be decided. It is my conviction that without the breath of life that is given through a real encounter with Jesus Christ; they will die. The breath of life that the son of God obtains is the very breath that caused Adam to begin to breathe in the Garden of Eden. It is a perfect love that will bring strength, give hope, and feed flames of purpose and passion in ones heart. We need and have an obligation as worshippers to pursue that which is real.

I once visited a church here in the Dallas metroplex, and I was amused at the method in which one of the worship leaders chose to lead a congregation in worship. This leaders formula seemed to include that one precise hand gesture, great flashy smiles, & just the right amount of closing the eyes without loosing the eye contact of those whose eyes were fixed on the leader.

It must take a lot of practice to get good at it, I sarcastically thought to myself; but the sad thing is that many of us have got very good at the art of “performing worship.” Shouting hallelujah even though we don’t know what it means; Or how about the automated amen. We say it just the right amount of times, and it’s usually because youve been encouraged to respond with just that very word, not even sure of what were responding to. Be careful not to have too much clapping but a good balance between that and lifting your hands. This systematic way of worship with these routine steps and guidelines in the how to guide to church etiquette, this has become our problem.

For many, the experience of worship is not even real. We have comfortably traded in a real encounter with the creator of the universe, and settled for a mundane set of steps to perform. As worship leaders we have risked serving up something fake for comforts sake, rather than surrendering to what is real; which consequently is the one thing that will genuinely reach people where they are at.

Our message in the praise and worship has become a broken record that we easily regurgitate; and there is emptiness that has desensitized the act of lifting their hands; Many people are using these simple acts of worship as a means of up keeping the masquerade and there are people in the body of Christ that have been numbing the church into this robotic sequence of motions & audible signals that mean nothing but, “Im a trained worshiper.”

When do we come to the point to where we throw away the script & grab a hold of reality worship. Its a worship that is not distorted by others, a worship that is unadulterated, un-borrowed, and unrehearsed; it is worship that is true, original, and out of the need to praise God. When you come to the point where you can do nothing but plainly worship your, creator, your lover, your father, right where you are at; that is truth. And we know what the truth does to people it sets them free.

We as the church have taught a generation how to fake through the motions, by the way in which we have led in the past, but there is a generation that has risen, that will seek God for who he is and for all He’s worth. Here is a revelation that will change should change your mind when it comes to ministry; we are the church. A simple revelation I know but, if you are a Christian then you are part of the church; whether you like the way it looks right now or not, you are the church. It is time for true worshipers to arise and show the way; to rewire, so to speak, the churches understanding of worship. To erase the facade and introduce the true freedom found in worshiping our King.

We are guilty of trading in a real encounter for routine comfort, and although we have a problem, we hold the solution. The Lord is ready to move and win over a generation to his heart. When we let go, God will move on our behalf. We must encounter genuine worship where a loving father, friend, caretaker, provider, redeemer, lover, shepherd, watchman, and protector, is meeting with His children personally. Encountering these characteristics are all things that this fatherless generation has missed, and a genuine encounter allows room for the Holy Spirit to speak, move freely, and change lives.

We have got to help this generation receive the breath of life that they are looking for; the breath that can only be found in the true reality of who God is. When we can humble ourselves, pray, and usher in true, real, authentic, worship; we will see a solution to our problem and the effects will be monumental. We will have a church that the Holy Spirit will free from the bonds of religion; and a world that will find what is real, after meeting Jesus personally. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit come where they are wanted and I pray that this article enlightens, challenges, and stirs your heart to just how much the Lord is needed to change the condition.

A devotional by Coty Sloan.

www.cotysloan.com 

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~ by cotysloan on June 7, 2007.

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