Last week I had a great privilege of spending 4 days worshipping and listening to some amazing talks at the Naturally Supernatural Conference at Soul Survivor, Watford. I can’t actually remember the last time I took that much time out for myself for refreshment, encouragement and time to just be. It has been lovely! I want to take some time to share with you some of what I learnt and effectively pass on that refreshment and encouragement to you! Including the impact of what I discovered for the dance ministry of UC Grace.
Worship is something that encompasses what we do with dance ministry and movement. It is often the start of a worship song that causes the initiation for us to move. Whilst we explore many different aspects of worship and moving, including simply to Scripture, silence and much more. There were two main things that made me pause this week.
1. Worship isn’t the warmup to the main event. It is the main event.
2. We should worship to the point something changes in us.
Let me expand.
How is this connected to church, life and dance ministry?
Often in church, worship is seen as the thing to do before the preach. Something separate and not integrated. Maybe it’s squeezed between notices and the children leaving for their groups, perhaps it always follows the same structure giving no breathing room. Or in dance ministry maybe you see it’s predominant role as a response to what is being discovered. Whatever the format it will be different for each church or dance ministry.
Worship (in whatever form) allows us to come before God with an offering, a sacrifice of praise. It is as we do that, that a change occurs in us.
Without giving over time to allow God to move BEFORE we share, we are not giving God time to inhabit us, for us to receive and our tank to become full before we give out.
Have you filled your tank lately?
Each of us can identify that we cannot give out on an empty tank. This might seem an obvious thing to say and I am sure it is something that we all know. But do we take action to ensure that we act on it?
I know that I haven’t and I’ve spent a lot of the past 2 years giving out with a nearly empty tank. The thing that impacted me as I learnt more about this is how important it is to worship with our whole heart before we do anything. It really is the main event and what comes after springs off of it.
But how can I make worship the main event?
In a church service context this is important because it causes us to engage with the Holy Spirit before the sermon. To choose to come before God with how you are, enter into a dialogue and be ready to go deeper with where he wants you to go. This is particularly relevant if you are ‘giving out’ at church in any way.
In Matthew 26.6 we read about the woman that emptied the alabaster jar of perfume all over Jesus’ head. Disciples called this a ‘waste’. But surely there is nothing better than wasting yourself on Jesus? That is what worship is for. As we waste ourselves and move into a state of change our hearts are ready to give out, share and grow. Worship is the funnel to fill our tanks, if we don’t provide space for that to happen, we will thin ourselves and can’t serve God our best.
Looking at our life in a wider context, taking the measure that everything we do flows out of a state of worship. How do you let worship be the main event in your life?
When worship causes a change in dance ministry
As I move forward from the conference I am aware that I want to change how I engage with worship and how it integrates not only with my personal life but the life of UC Grace and it’s dance ministry. What this means is choosing to take more of an active choice in allowing worship to fill my tank as well as giving space for those that encounter the dance ministry of UC Grace to do the same. A key recognition has been that not only do I need times of refreshment but that I need to allow space in workshops for people to worship and encounter before we go deeper with God’s word.
Worship will look different for each of us. But perhaps consider how in your personal life, ministry or work life worship can become the main event. Not something that’s tagged on when you remember or allotted to a specific moment.
I’m looking forward to shifting some focus with how UC Grace engages with this, I would also love to know how you might engage with this too.
If you’d like to understand more about faith and movement then read the blog Encountering God through Prayer and Movement.