As I stood there last night, watching all that was going on around me, I couldn’t help but feel a swelling sense of gratitude for what was happening. Our worship team (totally made up of middle and high school students) was leading children, teens and adults in authentic worship. Those who came to our NOW (Night of Worship) gathering were genuinely encouraged, recharged, and blessed. Adults and students alike lined up to share what God was speaking to them and what He’s been up to in their lives recently. One of our students, Tyler gave a passionate, Spirit-led, power-filled message from God and it didn’t matter who you were, you knew that was a supernatural thing unfolding in front of you. And God allowed me a front row seat to watch it all. It was more than I/we had envisioned, but it was precisely what God had in mind all along.
And here I am sitting in my office on “the morning after”, just replaying the evening in my mind. One thing that really struck me last night was the power of intergenerational connections. In a hilarious moment while Tyler was sharing last night, he inadvertently defined “old” as 60 and above; with a quick apology to everyone in that age range; including me. (What in the world?!?) But what blessed me was seeing adults being challenged by students and students blessing and thanking adults for their investment in them. I saw teenagers testifying of God’s goodness shown in their parents, thanking God for their siblings, and even holding out hope for unsaved moms and dads who weren’t there. All in all, it was a firestorm of rediscovering the call to simply “make disciples”. (Matt. 28:19)
We literally had no idea who was going to show up for NOW, so when we saw such a beautiful mixture of faces it was the perfect setting for God to ignite and reignite passion for Him and for others.
So, here I sit as a youth pastor, a mere hours after the fact thinking about the new watermark that was created last night and how to see a “new normal” emerge from it. Here are a few thoughts:
1. I invited anyone who didn’t have a chance to share their testimony last night to send it to us via email. These can be used to encourage others.
2. I’ll connect with our student leaders and worship team who were all instrumentally used by God to encourage and challenge all those who came to NOW. We’ll celebrate God and ask Him what’s next. Then we’ll do it.
3. We will continue to shift the culture of our worship experiences/venues away from “come and watch worship” to “come and worship”. Worship isn’t a “come and see” but rather a “Go & Be”.
So thankful to God for what I saw last night. And so humbled to be a part of it.