A Creative Lifestyle
Posted on August 20, 2009 by Paul | 1 Comment | Jump to Comments Box Below
A Creative Lifestyle
by Paul Baloche
There’s a lot of discussion these days about what it means to live a life of worship. Many explanations turn to vague and mysterious answers all focused on one’s heart being tuned to God. It is true that we should all strive for a continual communion with god throughout our daily lives by the attitude of our hearts, but in practice, what does this mean?
Worship in a congregation is the most common form of worship. Music can bridge the gap between our everyday lives and the supernatural. Music can be divine and inspiring. Something happens when a longing heart is combined with music in worship of God. Perhaps the Lord delights in the sound, but my guess is that He delights in the creativity behind the sound. After all, we worship a very creative God. To be the ultimate Creator, the inventor of creativity itself, He must delight in our expressions of this creativity.
As a musician, a lifestyle of worship includes playing music for the Lord – not necessarily hymns and popular worship songs, but simply the playing, the creating, the expression of the heart through the instrument. The musician worships by creating beautiful new sounds. Worship at church is marked by music perhaps because it is the creation that other people share in. Singing together is this same creativity pouring from the mouths of the congregation.
But what about other forms of expressing our worship to God? A friend of mine who is a calligrapher finds solace and harmony in creating letters during a worship service. Another is a writer who, instead of audibly speaking his prayers and concerns during the worship service, will write them in a notebook while sitting in stillness with the music surrounding him.
As the woman slides her paintbrush across the canvas, or as the young man composes a poem or a short story, this can be worship. As a striving businessman imagines new ways of organization, this is worship. As a new mom dances with her child to the sound of the day, this is worship. Often we get in the mindset that worship should be structured and specific. In the same way that God delights in our individuality, I believe he also delights in our diverse expressions of worship.
As worship leaders, how should we encourage a congregation to explore these aspects of worship? Depending on the style of the worship service, an encouragement to spend the time of worship writing down prayers, sketching in a notepad, moving about the room, raising hands, singing – anything that will express what is on their hearts. It’s possible that people only need permission to do something other than stand facing the stage and watching the worship leader lead. Encourage them to find their own expression even during the service. Doing so is bound to ignite a freshness to the worship experience. After all, this is the ultimate responsibility of a worship leader – to guide people into a many-faceted life of worship.