Worship Sunday was amazing! But worship most Sundays at HGBC is amazing. However, sooooome Sundays are not so hot. Most of the time, I distinguish between the "good" and the "bad" weeks by how I felt during the experience. Did it sound good to my ears? Was there a palpable energy that I could feel. Did I feel connected to God? Pretty sad, huh?
There is another standard indicator of worship being "good" or "bad" - other people's input. People are generally nice enough to share the positive thoughts with me and the negative thoughts over Sunday lunch. Which means that most of what I hear are compliments though I'm sure that not everyone always loves everything we sing in worship.
So I commonly get an encouraging word or two on a weekly basis. (I know, I know. I have a cushy job.) Week to week, the compliments come at an even rate. Logically, that means that the worship experience at HGBC must be consistently "good." There are weeks where that feedback doesn't come. It's never a surprise to me. Basically, if we don't do a "good" job, my inbox is going to be lonely.
Stay with me here...
Last December, we worked extremely hard on a production called Best Gift. It's a rule in life that hard work pays off. I was not at all surprised when I/we received an abundance of positive comments from our people. I wasn't left scratching my head and wondering what we did to help folks feel connected to God through worship. I was anticipating that people would enjoy the experience. We had worked hard for that purpose. (Don't judge. I'm speaking very pragmatically on purpose)
Over time, this pattern of events can harden your heart a bit. Obviously, if I plan well and we present well, I'm going to hear good things. So where's God in all this?
Now to the point...
As we worshipped Sunday morning, I was (as usual) in that joyful state of closeness with God. Let me just say that I LOVE to worship with other believers. However, it didn't seem any better to me than the usual "good" week. There was a very moving choir special sung, but last week was amazing too.
Since Sunday, I have heard from at least 20 people how amazing Sunday's worship was in both services. And I've heard it from people I never hear from. Man, I agree with them, but this time (unlike Christmas) I am taken aback by the response of our people. And these aren't just compliments. They're testimonies of how their burdens were lifted. Amazing things.
I was just scratching my head, wondering what it is I did differently to make Sunday so meaningful when it dawned on me that it wasn't me at all. God moved! God did a work in the hearts of our people. And there's no way to replicate it. I can't explain it. And it feels FANTASTIC!
I'm already praying that God will show up like that again this Sunday. Please say a prayer for HGBC that God will continue to move in such power.