January 12, 2011
I had a great experience yesterday morning worshiping with the Arrowhead Christian Academy high school students at their chapel. I was with my good friend Tony Wilcox and his daughter Abby who is a student there. Tony and Abby planned and led the set and I just got to sing and play along. I experienced a sweet surge of faith and hope as I worshiped my Lord, and the fellowship of unity in heart with like-minded people. I also learned something important. Tony and I plan worship differently. I plan like a teacher and my worship set is somewhat like a lesson plan with an “into, through and beyond.” I got this when student teaching from my master teacher, Jim Pate. (Thanks, Jim.) Like a tour guide, I’m taking people somewhere and I want to be very intentional about it, carefully sensing the theme, doing some prayer and study, thinking about what I might want to point out along the way, and how I might be God’s voice to the people I lead. Tony chooses his favorite songs, songs that really stir his soul. Then like a puzzle, he considers how they might fit together to take us somewhere. He is more like an artist, choosing the colors and textures then leading us together in painting the picture. Both methods, when directed by the Holy Spirit, leave us with a fresh view of God and an encounter with Him. While I loved the songs Tony chose, I was a bit skeptical at first that it would be a cohesive set. But let me tell you that I met God in our worship time yesterday! The declarations and prayers of the songs we sang became my heartfelt declarations and prayers as well. I am so appreciative of my friend Tony (and Abby) for leading me to dialogue with my Lord. I came away refreshed in spirit and strengthened in faith – the same way I hope to send people out after I lead them in worship. Yes, we need all styles of worship leading and planning.
As for the students of ACA, I was so encouraged by their heartfelt expressions of praise. There is certainly a healthy hunger and thirst for God stirring among the student body there. May God continue to bless the students and staff of ACA as they seek to honor and grow in the Lord! I look forward to the next time I get to worship with them … and with my good friend Tony.