Woeful, Wonderful Worship

Posted: September 25, 2003 in Everything

Wednesday night is one of the best parts of my week. Our student ministry has a mid-week meeting called VineLife. It is essentially a youth praise and worship service. It’s very simple in nature; we play a game, share prayer request and worship.

Occasionally, like yesterday, the worship leader and I will step out and introduce and new song. Last night we did two. One was great! The second wasn’t so great. Few of our kids knew it, the leader had just learned it and it’s not the easiest song to sing. The song wasn’t bad, it was just new.

Surprisingly, no one said anything about this subtle stumble in our worship service. Well, that’ not quite true. Several of them spoke later about how excited they were to learn it and they looked forward to singing it again.

I’ve never had an adult become excited after a service didn’t go well. Somewhere in adulthood we forget that life with God is about passion and not the perfection of our (and others’) performance.

That’s the beauty of a child-like faith! Kids seem to know that life with God is going to have glorious stumbles and moments of magic and adventure. They don’t expect Christianity to fit into the nicely ornamented charm-boxes so many of us call life. Kids instinctively know that faith is something to be lived, something that moves and flows. That’s why they have so much trouble sitting still in church.

They know that Jesus is passionate, risky, wild and free. They know that with Jesus, nothing can be bottled or hermetically sealed. So when things don’t go exactly as planned it’s no surprise to them. They would never try to fit God into a DayRunner or financial statement. It’s much more joyful to let the wind blow where it pleases.

As Dan Taylor puts it, “Mistaking this active life of faith for an institutionally backed and culturally bound belief system is similar to reducing the Mona Lisa to paint-by-numbers.”

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