Worship Service

Friday, April 4, 2008


Defining worship is a hazy proposition for me. Most of the people I know practice the bulk of their worship on Sunday mornings during the “Worship Service”. It has been 18 months since I have had that luxury on a regular basis.

I would say I am relatively proficient at communing with God when I am alone. I have an active prayer life, and I read Scripture and listen to Him speak to me (never audibly, but usually pretty clearly).

My Sunday mornings, from about 8:30 am until after service is over (around noon) are spent in a booth in the balcony.

Every fifth Sunday I’ll drop off breakfast for the Sunday School class that I don’t get to attend, but Husband enjoys. If I’m lucky, someone else has started coffee and I can take a cup with me upstairs. Otherwise, it’s just me and the balcony.

The Sound Guys – led by my stepfather, Doc, will be up there fiddling and twisting things. Setting levels just right and making sure batteries are fresh, before they head off to class.

Meanwhile, I’ll be updating any changes the songs being sung, review the sermon notes, and if I’m really on top of things – I’ll make headway into all the announcements that have to be fixed/corrected/added in to the rotation we run before service begins. At some point the Music Worship Leader, the Pianist, and the Drummer will be ready to run through the songs. I’ll click over and show all the lyrics (which is good, because sometimes I have Jesus walking through the dessert, rather than the desert…).

Around 10:15 people will start to fill the Sanctuary. My church is a good-size building, with between 800-900 guests on a Sunday morning. The balcony fills to a comfortable level, with the pew right next to be being filled by Cookie, B-10 and CW – and sometimes Husband if he’s not ushering or singing in the choir.

At 10:30 sharp the service begins, and while the entire congregation begins to worship, focusing their hearts and minds on God, I tend to feel rather left out.

I know God recognizes those who serve Him. And I know that I’m, quite frankly, very good at what I do. It takes rhythm to properly advance lyric slides during songs, and I strive to remain on top of where the preacher is during his sermons. Unfortunately, I cannot sing along, nor can I read the Scripture or take notes during the talks.

If I’m feeling empty when I arrive at church on Sunday morning, I’m usually feeling empty when I leave. It’s frustrating and sad, but I understand – perhaps more than most – the necessity of those willing to serve.

Why do I continue to do it? Because I can. I’m the one who knows how, and doesn’t have other commitments. Even though that means for me - the Worship Service is more service than worship.

But if you were to sneak into my church’s Sanctuary around 5 pm on a Wednesday night – you’d be in for a surprise. The window shades would be up – natural sunlight flooding through the floor to ceiling glass and illuminating the room. One small desk lamp would be shining from the very top of the balcony. And the left large screen, hanging above the choir loft would be on.

And, if you’re very quiet and enter from the back of the room (under the balcony), you’ll enter my worship service. If you sneak forward and look up, you’ll see the tip of my head over the four computer screens bouncing up and down as I type in the words for the next Sunday’s service.

I won’t be able to hear you if you call my name, the iPod in my ears will be playing my songs much louder than you can shout. If your really lucky I’m singing along.

Every once in a while, I even have to stop my typing and raise my hands in the air – an action you would NEVER see from me on a Sunday morning (goodness, I don’t even clap in church). That’s my time, right there with the cross in front of me, worshiping.

My worship iPod playlist:

Undignified - Dave Crowder (The Lime CD)

Love Song for a Savior
Art in Me
Boy on a String
Flood - Jars of Clay (Jars of Clay)

High of 75
I So Hate Consequences
My Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend
More Than Useless – Relient k (Mmhmm)

Stand – Rascal Flatts (Me and My Gang)

Feel free to join in, if you're ever nearby. What songs bring out the worship in you?

~Lone Butterfly )i(