It brings a smile too my face as I think back to my early days in church and, in particular, what I believed about worship. I’m not really sure where my first understanding of worship came from, though it has definitely evolved over the years.
I clearly remember, as a sixteen year old walking into church for the first time one Sunday night and encountering God during worship. I commited my life to Jesus that night (and subsequently the next few Sunday nights until the youth pastor let me know that I didn’t need to keep responding each week), and I joined the creative team almost straight away. I had always enjoyed singing so it just seemed natural.
A little while later I remember my worship pastor gently taking me aside to chat about what was appropriate attire for singing in church. Yep it was the inevitable conversation.
Now, it’s not what you may think. I was fairly modest for a sixteen year old.
The clothing in question was my footwear. I wore masseurs….everywhere. Masseurs were a type of slip on beachy sandal that supposedly massaged your feet as you walked. When I was singing on platform and the songs would get to a really ‘holy’ moment, I would take my masseurs off, continue to sing barefoot and all the while be thinking ‘I’m standing on Holy ground’.
It seemed Biblical. I knew that was what God had said to Moses, and somehow it just felt like a holy thing to do.
At the request of my worship pastor I was slightly horrified at the thought that I would now need to sing with proper shoes, and keep them on. I was convinced my experience in worship wouldn’t be the same but nevertheless heeded her request.
I laugh now thinking back. Where did that belief come from?!
A lot has changed since then. Besides the fact I now wear shoes and keep them on; I try to do a regular stocktake of what I believe and why.
In January of 2008 my husband and I had gone down to Ballina I for a short camping trip and I was doing one of those “belief stocktakes” and wrestling out my beliefs on worship.
My husband and I had been leading the creative team together for about two years, and I had come to the point where I felt ‘worship’ had nothing to do with music and songs.
There was many things that had led to this point including coming across the following scriptures
Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. 24 But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream. (Amos 5:23-24 NKJV)
I just wasn’t sure what to do with what I had just read. As someone who was currently investing hours each week building a team to lead people in worship, to write songs and to teach on the heart of worship I felt we were wasting our time, the time of the team and potentially the time of church. I felt so misled.
I wanted to give God what He wanted and it didn’t seem that he was too fussed on songs according to Amos. Should stop singing and playing instruments and start helping people practically?
How would this work?
What would it look like?
What did God actually want from us?
These questions were left unanswered, but I recall this time in my life as the beginning of a search for the meaning of true biblical worship.
During that camping trip in 2008 I wrote down for the first time what I believed about worship.
Recently as we moved house I found that journal and what I had written. It was a time capsule showing what I believed as a 24 year old. And thinking about my beliefs at 16, at 24, and now at 33; much has changed, and much has stayed the same.
It has prompted me to write out my beliefs about worship at this current time, as a ‘time capsule’ to look back on in future years. Maybe I’ll even post it on here, but until then,
Where did your journey begin?
Can you recall some interesting beliefs from your early days? What do you believe now?
Why not try and write down your beliefs on worship (it could be fun to look back on later)?