My official title is “Pastor of Worship & Arts.”
My primary function, and maybe my more common title, is “Worship Leader.”
I’m supposed to “Lead” people in worship.
I’m supposed to create moments where people from all walks of life can engage with the Creator.
I’m supposed to be the tool that the Spirit uses to guide God’s people into humbled hearts and authentic worship.
But yesterday, at The Grove, it was I who was led.
During our 3rd and final gathering of the morning, as the band powerfully played out “Glorious” by Paul Baloche, I looked out at the more than 350 people gathered together to see if they were “feeling what I was feeling,” if they were “going where I was going,” to see if “worship” was happening.
And as hundreds of voices belted out, “Oh – oh – oh – oh… You are Glorious!” this is what I saw:
- I saw a man who left a comfortable job to start his own business, but is struggling to make ends meet because of this decision, bowed in humble adoration, declaring that “God is Glorious.”
- I saw a woman who’s marriage is crumbling beneath her very feet, a world preparing for possible destruction, declaring that “God is Glorious”
- I saw people who I know are dealing with the loss of loved ones, worshiping their faces off, declaring that “God is Glorious.”
- I saw people who had just gotten back from Haiti, who’d seen destruction, death, chaos, fear, and brokenness firsthand, with their hands in the air declaring “God is Glorious.”
- I saw a man who doesn’t know what he believes, isn’t sure if Jesus is who he says he is, and can’t decide if “church” is for him, declaring “God is Glorious.”
- I saw a person who’s life has been forever altered because of a car wreck, never to return to the “way things were,” declaring “God is Glorious.”
And in that moment, as I was supposed to be “leading” the people in worship, I discovered that in reality THEY were leading ME.
I took inventory of my life and discovered that singing this lyric, “YOU are GLORIOUS” is relatively easy for me. What might stand in my way from acknowledging and proclaiming that God is a Glorious Being? Currently… not much.
But for these people, of whom I knew their stories, there is a lot standing in their way. Or at least, a lot that COULD stand in their way. And yet here they were, declaring “God is Glorious.”
And it didn’t make sense to me. And in some ways, it still doesn’t… and might not ever.
For that song, for that moment, the people of The Grove were showing ME what it meant to worship. What it means to realign our stories with God’s story. What it means to know that all of life might be screaming at you that God is most certainly NOT glorious, or at least not worthy of being CALLED glorious, but to do it and sing it anyways.
Through tears and a choked throat, I quietly thanked those in attendance at the 3rd gathering yesterday. I thanked them for leading me to the King. For showing me that our God is indeed Glorious.
I should say it more often, because it’s often true: Thank you people of The Grove for not only letting me lead you in worship each week, but for also leading me.