If you’ve been attending any of our services regularly the past month or so, you may have noticed a few things.
We’ve started a dance team that choreographed and performed an original piece about baptism, our spoken word team has been writing and creating beautiful, poetic works, we’ve installed backdrops made from scratch, we created powerful activities at Teams Night to allow people to step closer to God and we’ve introduced some new [and old] original tunes written by the worship band.
It’s okay to say it. We’ve gotten a little artsy fartsy.
Now all this is really exciting for me, and also just plain cool. But in the midst of all these new things, I’ve had some questions about why we do all them.
“What is the purpose of the dance team?”
“Why did you decide to build the backdrops?”
“Spoken word is cool, but what is the point?”
Before I send my inner melancholy-tempermented artist to the corner to sulk about people not understanding her art, let me take a minute to calm her (and you) down and to break it down.
First let’s back up and realize that we are not all designed the same and that is a beautiful thing. God made us each unique and beautiful in His image – the bible talks about it:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. –Psalms 139:13-15
God knows us intricately and He made us with unique gifts and personalities. It’s no surprise then that we may find ourselves interacting with Him in a bunch of different ways.
For instance, I can attest that I definitely connect with God through music. Whether it has words or it’s just a beautiful piece of classical music, for some reason I’m able to experience a conversation with Him through that vehicle.
But not everyone does. And that’s okay. And maybe you haven’t even figured out what that relationship looks like, how you interact with each other clearly, etc. Like any relationship, it takes time.
But maybe, over time, you find you’re able to clear your mind and listen for God best when you take a walk, when you’re reading, when you’re creating something with your hands. Maybe you have to find a place to be completely still and quiet. Or maybe you can’t stand the quiet and love to talk to him through ridiculously loud music.
Whatever it is, you get the idea. We are all uniquely, beautifully made and the result is a lot of different ways to have a conversation.
And a lot of different ways to come before Him and worship.
Over and over, as we’re walking with God, we’re going to be reminded of Christ on the cross. For us. When we walk with Him the beauty of it is only amplified as we experience Him more – the beauty of that sacrifice, that debt-cancelling act. It draws us to God and draws us to worship with everything we have.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. –Romans 12:1
So back to the questions. Why do we have all these things at church? Why do we write songs, choreograph dances, write poetry – why do we create? Simple – we create to demonstrate our utmost worship to Him in the way he created us to. All of these things that we create are just an explosion of US wanting to share what HE has done.
And when you think about it, isn’t that just the coolest thought in the world? That maybe the reason you start to act like a crazy person when your favorite worship song comes on is that He wanted to demonstrate joy through you in that moment? Maybe the reason you get so excited about building something from nothing is that He designed you to create things that reflect his beauty. Maybe the reason that you can’t stand the noise is because he wants you to come hang out with him by reading something. The point is there isn’t really a wrong answer when it comes to worshiping God (and if you’re worried about being weird, I have another read for you here). And so if that means we’ve gone a little artsy fartsy, so be it.
I’ll leave you with a piece of music that never fails to pull me in. It’s somewhat lengthy, every time I listen to the Firebird Suite by Stravinsky, I can’t help but think of the triumph of Christ defeating the grave and daydream with God about what He has in store for us. Listen.