my brother gave me the most recent cd from bethel's school of supernatural ministry (i know! it sounds likes a hogwarts or something), "your love never fails." its been a super refreshing listen, with a freedom and joy that is present in the worship that both audrey and i haven't experienced for awhile.
it got me to thinking about some of the worship leaders and experiences that have been really influential in my life, i thought it might be fun to blog about it :)
1. josh young - josh led worship for my junior high fellowship and he was the first really visible worship leader that was somewhat close to me in age (he was in high school). it was from josh that i saw modeled for me what it could look like to engage God in musical worship. prior to him, worship was something the grown ups did that was usually boring...and most certainly not a place where we experienced the presence of God. josh was very gifted at different instruments, but he also had a real gift of leading others into worship. when josh lead worship, the was a realness, joy, and presence of God that accompanied those times.
2. josh kidwell / christina young - thinking about these two makes me smile. josh & christina both led their own worship teams, but i always looked forward to them leading together. y'know in the book of samuel when the ark comes back to jerusalem and david goes so crazy worshipping the lord that peoples think he is making a fool of himself? as a community of asian kids who are raised in a culture of conformity and good behavior, both of them modeled for us in musical worship what it looked like to be wholehearted unashamed and abandoned in our love for God. being on teams with them and watching them for several years, both christina and josh were people of integrity and deep genuity in what they did. there was nothing fake about them, and that's something that still sticks with me today.
3. delirious?, lincoln brewster, darrell evans -- i block these folks together because i'm pretty sure i wore out all theirs cds in my cd player listening to their stuff. i distinctly remember falling asleep to evans' 'i am in love with you' in a constant loop. i found out relatively recently that the d: boys are retiring after going at it for fifteen years, and it reminded me of how these songs were the soundtrack of my walk with God during that time. they represent intimate and holy moments where i deeply experienced God's love and presence.
4. urbana03 -- the impact of this experience wasn't apparent until a year later, but ubana played a huge role in shaping how i saw how culture has shaped my understanding of worship. my receptivity and appreciation of gospel-style musical worship was largely influenced by this conference.
5. the city church san diego -- i was at this church for a little over a year, but i realized today how much worshipping at this church changed me. i always had a cognitive understanding of God's presence being in our midst in worship, but regularly worshipping with a community that EXPECTED God's presence was something new. people would come into worship with burdens and leave with the joy of the Lord and physical healings would happen during worship. i would often stay 20-30 minutes after service just soaking in the presence of the Lord because it was so tangible.
i forget that an expectation of God's presence during worship, abandoned & wild worship, or even engaging intimately with the Lord during worship is not necessarily how others have come to see what worship is. may we all taste and see that the Lord is good, again and again. amen!