| Thought for Mar 10, 1998 : Children in Worship- Part IV |
Today's worship thought is written from the perspective of a worship leader, though it is applicable to each of us who are both worshipers and leaders (IE. parents) in our families.
One of the keys to leading worship is to maintain a view of ourselves within the family of God. When we remember that we are all children of God (Romans 8:15-17), worshiping him can retain perspective. This is because we don't worship God from the perspective of being a leader. Rather, we worship the Father from the privilege of being a child, and a brother or sister to the rest of the gathered worshipers. I recall an experience which graphically portrayed this concept to me.
I was leading worship in a small church on a Sunday morning. Into the first song, I realized that a monitor was not working. Then another monitor began breaking up. The sound became a complete distraction and the pastor came up to try to help out. We stopped worship and tried to get things straightened out. Then I prayed and asked the Lord to just come and help us worship. We started the next song, and immediately a string on my guitar broke. I turned to the keyboard player and asked him to lead the music, by following my voice for queues. We kept on singing. As we were all trying to worship, I noticed my son, Jordan, (who had just turned three) was wandering up to the platform. I looked to find my wife, Carol, but she didn't notice my glance. Jordan walked to the back of the platform and picked up his ukulele (that he sometimes brought to imitate playing along with me when I was there practicing before anyone else arrived).
After picking up his ukulele, he walked right up beside me. He looked up and just started playing away, strumming in time with the song. I keep right on singing. Then, a little later, I knelt down and ask him "what are you doing, son? Are you helping Dada?"
He said, "yes, I'm helping dada do worship on my guitar."
I said, "well, I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. I love you. You know, though, maybe you should go put your guitar back on the stand and go sit with Momma. OK?"
He looked at the floor sheepishly and hung his head momentarily. Then he looked back up at me and smiled affectionately. He put the guitar back and sat down with Carol.
The team had kept playing and was still worshiping. Several people in the congregation were smiling, having seen what had gone on. I can't remember when I have had such a glimpse of my son's heart. I know more clearly the simple love and adoration that God wants us to have for Him.
I've never had an experience quite like that.
That experience showed me the depth of community and family we have in times of gathered worship (anytime you gather, as Christians, to worship God). I realized we are all children loving our Father. My son showed us all how the simplicity of a child's love and motivation is the only way to continue to go to our Father unencumbered. Further, it was a great encouragement to me that the whole congregation was with me in the worship time, empathizing with the musical/equipment difficulties and enjoying the interaction of Jordan with the situation. Viewing others as family members with me in worship leading helps me to keep the goal on loving God, and not on trying to impress my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Kim Anthony Gentes
The above Daily Worship Thought is an exerpt from the book "Acoustic Worship Leading" by Kim Anthony Gentes which is Copyright © 1998 by Vineyard Music Group. Used by permission. The Daily Worship Thought complete archives is found on the web, along with other worship resources, at the worship resource center web site(http://www.praise.net/worship/).