So, check it out. A couple of years ago I heard about a worship event taking place in Berlin, Germany. People all over the world were planning on attending. And since I had been at One Day and experienced the amazing time of worship and fellowship there, I knew that this worldwide event would be just as amazing. I definitely thought about going, but did not have the chance. However, I did sign up for the newsletter that came from the coordinator of the event. I have been receiving this newsletter for probably about two years.
This past week, I saw that this coordinator and worship leader was going to be in Jacksonville. I researched and found that he was actually going to be at the very church that I attend. On top of that, I found out that he was going to be sharing with worship leaders on Thursday night. And even though I do not lead at a specific church, I asked if I could attend.
To make a long story short, God has answered more of my prayers this week. I have been wanting so much to be able to grow in the area of worship. Not only in musical skills and knowledge of songs and what not, but also I have just wanted to be around other musicians who love to worship the Lord....not worshipping the worship, not worshipping the song leader...but the Lord...first and formost. I have been longing for that place. And tonight I walked into this very type of place.
Twelve or so of us sat in a good sized garage, each with an instrument or microphone and we worshipped. Sometimes loud and sometimes silent. Sometimes with voice and sometimes with only instruments. I would have chosen this garage over a million stages worldwide. It was the intimacy...the non-show if you will. It was our hearts poured out as we shared fellowship with the Lord.
Rochester, do you remember when we sat in garages and parks and in front of church buildings on clear summer nights? Do you remember when the presence of the Lord visited our small group of friends? I remembered tonight. I remembered how worship had become our favorite activity when we came together. I remembered being changed and losing my taste for anything else but the real deal.
Tonight, I walked into this place...greeted by divine appointment. I now have a place to go and record my new songs. I now know others who are pouring their own hearts out in worship, others who I can hopefully learn from and grow with. God has given me a place.
Noel Richards shared his heart with us tonight about worshipping the Lord together. He said many things that stuck out to me and convicted my heart. First, "worship without mission is self-indulgent. mission without worship is self-destructive." Second, "it is not about the performance. it is about our relationship with Christ." Third, Noel himself quite a few years ago got together with a few musicians. They all said, "let's just worship together and see what God does." And so Noel, Matt Redman and Martin Smith and a few others gathered together and began to worship....out of those beginning days...came the songs we sing today. They began in a place...much like the place we were tonight.
I don't know what to say on nights like this. I am amazed at how God can use newsletters and random (so we think) encounters to connect us to people and places and opportunities that just yesterday seemed so far away. He gives me reason to believe that there IS a future and a hope. And I am humbled. Because I do not want to forget God in all of this. I do not want to forget that it is Him whom I worship. He is the reason for the song in my heart. Whether I worship in my room, or in a garage, or on a stage in front of many people...I want my heart to remain the same, constant and loyal to the only ONE I have come to worship.