Essential Benchmark 3
Worship is such a broad concept that we will not try to capture it as much as begin a conversation about it. Our relationship with God isn't something that we contain in an "hour of worship." It's important to have regular moments of worship in our lives to allow God to have a deeper role in our decisions. When we make worship a habit, God becomes the reference point for what we do, say, think and believe.
Think about the reference points on a compass. They never change, and neither does God.
It is crucial that our seasons of worship be genuine, personal and sacred. Worship service styles will come and go, and from one culture to the next, it will look, sound, smell and be different, but one thing that will never be different is that it will always be about people and their attitudes, beliefs and values expressed in action to God—about who He is and who we are in relationship to Him.
Youth leaders need to foster an atmosphere where we encounter God in worship.
Thoughts on CompasS-ING
Consider the following forms of worship.
1. Prayer. Ellen White captured the essence of prayer well when she said, "Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary, in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him." Teaching young people to pray (not necessarily what to say but simply to pray) ushers them in to the very presence of God. This may be the most common exercise, so make effort to make these moments fresh and real.
2. Secret goodness. This may seem fluffy compared to other disciplines, but in reality, this taxes us as deep as we go. Engage in secret goodness in a way that God alone gets the credit. There are many ways to do this. We like to "Change the Day." (Read more about this on earlier blog posts).
3. Sacrifice/Taking leaps of faith. It is a leap of faith to look to God to fulfill a need instead of trying to provide the answer for yourself. It is an act of faith to give up something to the degree that your life changes and you need to live differently. When we deliberately engage in these exercises, we will feel the effects of growth, sometimes painful, but extremely rewarding, because we have found what we are looking for, moments where we connect with God.
We have more to share on Worship in our book! Find "Out of the Shipyard" on our Resource page.