It’s somewhat odd how you can actually assign physical expression an actual location in a sanctuary. At this church in particular, it was approximately the first four pews on the right hand side of the sanctuary. It’s not that others in the room weren’t expressive, but rather that the majority of the hands raised and passionate-closed-eyes could be found in that specific spot.
That was the area were the youth group sat. We had taken over front of the church and weren’t concerned with keeping our distance from the stage. But despite our passion for worship (at least for a time), I still thought there had to be more of myself that I could give—specifically in regards to physical expression.
David always came to mind; how he danced around for God in a loincloth. How he—a king—put his entire reputation on the line for God. I can see the people around him: staring and judging; judging and staring. And I can see it quite clearly because of that one memorable worship service.
Something happened that day. Something no one saw coming. Something that makes that particular worship service one of the only Sunday morning services I can recall at that church. The congregation was singing praise songs when a lady that no one had ever seen before went up to the front of the sanctuary. She started dancing around and if I remember right, she was hootin’ and hollerin’ too. It was a bit uncomfortable for your average white people church. Actually, it was A LOT uncomfortable. I had one of those moments of severe embarrassment—you know; where the situation has absolutely nothing to do with you, but you’re so incredibly embarrassed for someone else that you can feel your entire being turning red?
The problem was that I knew that that was what I wanted! That was the crazy lady I wanted to be! (Err… you know what I mean.) She was loving God with all of her body and just like David she gave up all of her dignity in that moment! I don’t think anyone in the church had never seen her before and I’m certain that people thought she was crazy. But it didn’t matter to her because she was praising her God. Like David.
I never saw her again after her few minutes of fame. The pastor eventually confronted her and said something, after which she decided to leave. Looking back, I wish I would have had the strength to join her in worship. Just imagine how different the service would have been if I have done that. Then they would have had to kick the children’s pastor’s kid out too!
Now don’t get me wrong—I know that you can’t judge someone’s heart in worship by checking out their physical expression, but let’s face it: sometimes your stature makes your heart stand out. I am so incredibly sick of leading worship for people who cross their arms and stare blankly into the distance with a “when-will-this-be-over-so-I-can-sit-down” look on their face. I mean, I’ve been there too, but there are some people I can literally count on week after week to approach worship with that form. On top of that, those are the same people who always approach me after the service to tell me how much they enjoyed the music!
Now, let me just be honest here and please, try to take this as kindly as you can:
I do not care if you liked the music.
Yes, I’m going to do my best to use my talents to praise God and I eagerly hope that I am bringing you good music, but if you’re not going to worship, I could care less what you thought of the music. I am not up there to keep you entertained.
Okay—serious moment over. This is not a post to tell you that you don’t know how to worship, but rather to encourage you to always give more and more of yourself every time you worship. I am quite aware that you can worship God with all your heart while standing still in the same way that you can by bouncing around the room like a crazy person. But always seek to give more or even to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I speak to you not as an expert, but as a hopeful striver.
So in conclusion:
Crazy people try slowing it down sometime.
Slow people try crazying it up!