Sera here. I wanted to talk to y’all about worship.
Worship can be hard to define, but a definition I’ve enjoyed for a number of years is this:
Worship is our response to the knowledge and experience of God.
What I enjoy about this definition is that it has stayed true as my faith has evolved. There were times in my journey with the Divine when I thought worship meant “five songs done in a specific way and you close your eyes and think about God”…… and there were times when I thought it meant getting in touch with the emotions that I regularly avoided…… and there were times when I thought it meant crying…. and times I thought it meant dancing…. and there were times when I had no idea how to engage with it.
But what’s beautiful about worship being our response to the knowledge and experience of God is that all of those things can be true. And so many other things can be true.
As my understanding of God evolved, as my personhood evolved, as my relationship to church evolved…. I felt a lot of fear about how my relationship to worship would change. It was the hardest thing to hold loosely because it was something I had been specifically been trained in for years.
I was trained how to be a worship leader at a house of prayer, which meant I played whatever songs I wanted for about 45 minutes but only planned like 10 minutes of it, and let the rest come to me.
I was also trained to lead worship at a couple of large churches, where I picked 6-10 songs to play, practiced them exactly how they were to be executed and rarely strayed outside of that.
And when I came to Neighborhood, I had an extremely hard time adjusting to what worship was “supposed” to look like.
But here’s what I’ve learned—however you respond to God is how you worship.
Sometimes that means singing songs that get us in touch with who God is.
Sometimes that means singing songs about the connection we all share.
Sometimes that means reading poetry that reminds us that the love we’re all searching for is already within us.
Sometimes that means reading poetry that expresses the grief and discomfort that comes with deconstructing and reconstructing your faith.
Sometimes it means walking outside, crying, looking at the trees, at Lake Superior.
Sometimes it means helping someone who doesn’t have enough to eat, or a way to get home, or means to support their family.
Letting worship simply exist as a response to the Divine has been the most worshipful experience of my life. And I want to share that with all of you.
I want the Neighborhood Church worship experience to reflect Neighborhood Church.
So here are my questions for all of you:
- How do you experience worship?
- What are songs that get you in touch with the Divine in a beautiful, healing way?
- Which poets speak to your soul?
- Do you write poetry? Do you write songs?
- Do you sing or play an instrument?
I would love to hear how you’d like to experience or be involved in the expression of worship at Neighborhood Church.
Send me an email (or text or Instagram DM or anything) letting me know any or all of these things…. I would love to hear from you.