While I'm Out Part Two: Worship in small places.

Note: I'm at the Alive Festival all this week (June 16th-20th), and big fields are not known for their wifi connections. So I've set up a series of timed posts related to the new book to keep you all entertained. Enjoy!

This past Saturday was the wedding of our good friends Matt and Ruth. Usually, I find weddings to be horribly awkward and not very fun at all, but Matt and Ruth and the folks that helped them put this together did a terrific job. I actually enjoyed myself the whole way through. The service was beautiful, everyone looked lovely, and hardly anyone passed out. (Ok, no one passed out, but man weren't you excited just then!) The reception was fun and laid back, and with the exception of the bridal party dance (which I performed with all the awkwardness of a 7th grader at the Prom) a great time was had by all.

Our other good friends Keith and Emily were in town for the weekend, and so after the reception I drove out to Murrysville to see them. It was super late, and I had to preach the next day, but it was good to hang out with them, even for an hour or so. Sarah stayed in Murrysville to watch her dad's pooches, and I went home to enjoy a bachelor pad all to myself.

On the way home, I drove through the city with my windows down. It was an absolutely beautiful night, and I just wanted to breathe in as much clean air as I could. I must confess that I am absolutely a city boy. I don't know what it is or why it is, but I love spending time in the city. Something about the urban sprawl, the creativity that comes from being downtown, I just get overwhelmed. As I was sitting at a red light by the Liberty Bridge, I turned the radio off, and just listened to the sounds of the city.

And I worshiped.

I thanked God for such a wonderful day for Matt and Ruth. I thanked him for giving me wonderful (and hilarious) friends to share such an occasion with. I thanked him for the large cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee that sat beside me, waiting to be consumed. But mostly, I thanked him for being who he was, the lover of my soul.

This small, five minute worship service did not happen in a big place. There were no fog machines, no sound systems, no praise bands, and no projectors. It didn't come with a sermon or a three point lecture about theology. While all of those things are important, I think that worship can happen in all kinds of places, including the small ones. Worship can invade a person's life and make them a new creation, one intent on loving the creator of the universe with all their heart, mind, and soul.

The question to us as youth leaders is, how do we shepherd our students in this habit? How do we teach them that worship isn't just what happens on Sunday mornings, but actually a lifestyle meant to be enjoyed at every possible opportunity? How do we beat down the culture that says church is where you go on Sundays rather than who you are every day?

Stay tuned...