Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Night to Worship...

Friday was our Night of Worship. I know - technically, we should be living lives of worship. But it is nice to come together as a church and corporately worship our God. And did we ever!

When I started working here two years ago, it was my dream to start developing nights of worship... It obviously took quite a while to make that happen. But it was worth the wait.

If you don't go to my church, let me give you some background info.

Our church is averaging 2600 people. We have three weekend service times. 3 services in the main room. 3 services that meet in our video cafe (ideal for families that have children and want to stay together in a casual environment) that run the exact service that we have upstairs...just on video. 1 Overdrive service (ROCK MUSIC) and 1 Classic Service (HYMN DRIVEN). We meet in different places all over the campus.

Throughout these venues, there are people who worship with abandon...freely interacting with God unaware of the people around them. But those people are spread out around the campus in 8 different services (or more when you start counting our youth programs). To have them all together in one place on Friday night, was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

To hear the organ play, and voices loudly singing Holy, Holy, Holy took my breath away. To see over 500 people raise their hands at the same time during "Awesome is the Lord" made the lump in my throat take away my ability to sing. To see my husband standing at the back of his church with his arms held high to God simply moved me to tears.

It was beyond what I could have imagined.

I had to deal with my own pride and frustration when a couple of things didn't go right...which oddly enough happened before we sang "I Surrender All." I love God in his divine timing. It was as if he was saying "Kristi...surrender it...give it to me...surrender..."

I danced. I spun. I was free. People laughed. I was embarrassed. Then I realized that I didn't care. I was free. And I was filled with incredible joy. I can't wait to see the whole church spinning around next time. :)

I saw people crying during times of prayer and Thanksgiving. I heard stories of people who didn't know each other before that night turn to their brother or sister in Christ and share their struggles...their hurts... and their joys.

I know people who have been frustrated with our church and the choices we've made regarding worship recently who couldn't stop talking about how moved they were that evening.

I was so proud of our team. So moved by our church. And I got just a tiny hint of what Christ must feel like when we worship him so intentionally...with so much passion...with so much love.

Then following that weekend, I had to take the kids to church with me for weekend rehearsal. Childcare wasn't available yet, so I had them sit side by side in the front row. Curtis and I were leading together. To watch my kids clap their hands and sing Forever once again moved me to tears. To see them stand up and sing was beautiful. They are little people learning to worship.

Watching Lexi watch Haley sing and clap and then follow her reminded me that people are watching us. If you are an extravagant worshiper...don't be ashamed. If you want to lift your hands, spin, dance, it. It may free somebody else up to worship too. There is no freer feeling than to give myself up completely to God in worship. I encourage you to do the same. Don't wait til' the next night of worship. Let's lead out now....

THIS JUST IN - after I finished writing this, I read a beautiful story on my friend's blog about her own night of worship and how it was connected to ours. Take a moment and read it.


Don said...

So proud of you and where you're taking us. (Of course, I know it's not YOU, but still . . . )

Thanks for keeping your ears and heart open.

Love you!


Lori said...

oh kristi, reading about your NOW put a lump in my throat. God has placed us in an AOG church this past year, and the first weekend we were there they did "I Am Free". The worship leader joyfully danced as she lifted it to our Lord, setting the example to be who you are in worship of our wonderful Savior. It was incredibly freeing. Being free to worship Him in the way He created us is, well, it's just right.
Lori N. (from Henderson :))

Heidi said...

It was a wonderful night. thank you for asking me to be a part of it.

I can't wait for the next one.

Rick said...

When I grow up I want to be able to worship as freely as you do.

World of Wright said...

That night was such a blessing. From the first song to the last I had tears in my eyes.
Every time we worship everything is perfect according to God's plan weather His plan matches ours or not. God likes a good laugh every now and then and it's usually at our expense ;)

SingingShrink said...

I know you probably won't see this b/c it's an old post, but I have to tell you that I really appreciate the many opportunities you've given me in the past few years to develop God's gift of song in my life and to use it to give back to his church. Thank you for believing in me, enjoying my gift as I do, and allowing me to be me. Keep doing what you're doing. Let God be your only true critic, and I'm sure you, Curtis, Shayne, etc. will lead our church where God desires in this new, exciting time in church history.