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January 24, 2009

Good thoughts here from Dana, one of our worship pastors.  There is massive spiritual value in people “engaging with each other during worship”.  And frequently we don’t explore that social spirituality.

I feel like I’ve seen both sides of this.  When I was leading worship for a big youth ministry program, I would sometimes feel sad that there didn’t appear more individual connection to God (if one can even gauge such a thing).  The students LOVED worship.  They got down, singing at the top of their lungs and creating dances and hand motions to Chris Tomlin and David Crowder songs.  Worship was always, always, always fun in that group.  It was a big communal celebration.

I felt like my most challenging task was to “hyper-spiritualize” the moment by slowing it down every now and then and guiding prayer through slower, more contemplative songs when they came up.

Perhaps, our task in the opposite setting is to get worship participants to (as Dana’s title suggests) break out of their individual shells and bond with each other.  Dana, you’re right that “God’s got a blessing”ish songs do a good job of it.  I always feel like you and Chaline have a good thing going with songs like that!

Come to think of it, I feel like the best moments of this at the Vineyard are when the children come in near the end and you see parents dancing with their kids, picking them up and swinging them around.  It’s a moment that always brings smiles to Suzy and me.  Immediately we’re engaged by and with the community (even if we don’t know the parents or kids)!

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