I live for it.
I breathe it in.
Not just for anything.
For one thing.
The deeper I get into worship, the more respect I have for the worshipers that went before me and paved the way for what we call call worship today. The longer I spend in worship and talking to others about it, the more I realize that this is indeed art at its most primal level. Even when we’re going through the hardships that life has a tendency to toss our way.
A friend of mine reminded me of the lyrics of one of my favorite songs (From the Inside Out). Each time I listen to this song, the same lyrics continue to jump out at me:
Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise
excerpt from “From The Inside Out” – Joel Houston, Hillsong
I’ve heard this song many times before, and each time, those lyrics touch a deeper portion of my soul. They so clearly articulate what I believe, but never been able to put to words myself. I’ve had people ask me why I worship, and what I do when I worship, even how to worship. I’ve never once had anyone ask me about the art of worship.
As a worship artist, it’s important for me to remember that worship is never about me, my style or the notes or song that comes next. Sure the talent is art, but the true art is allowing myself to be lost in God; not focusing on that moment. The art of losing yourself in worship, as the song alludes to, is a matter of getting your priorities straight first, then simply being creative in His presence:
- Put your focus on God
- Remember that you are there so others may worship
- Be creative and continually put their focus on God
Sounds simple enough, but it’s the creatively part where most people trip up. Where do you draw the line in expressing yourself creatively so that it doesn’t feel like a performance? I believe it all comes down to focus. Performance in church has its place so long as the focus is placed on God, then it becomes an expression of the gifts you were given by God. When people notice you more than than they notice God, then you need to seriously examine if you crossed that line.
The art of worship requires you to balance the natural tension of performance (“look at me”) and presentation (“look at Him”). The art of losing yourself in worship requires to you to keep one eye and ear on the physical world around you while getting as deep into God as possible through worship. The aim here is to connect the two together. Connections require constant attention, otherwise they fall apart. What is worship for some people, is a distraction and a struggle for others. You need to be able to respond to the needs of the physical environment around you while responding to the spiritual promptings of the Holy Spirit so as many barriers to worship are removed as possible.
Even the best worship leaders need to practice this continually or risk losing perspective on the environment around them. This is living art at it’s God-given best. God rewards the faithful who use their gifts wisely and sacrificially.