NYWC #7: Worship

Six Years Ago:
"You've never heard of him?" I questioned Ro in a rather shrill voice. "How is it possible that you've never heard of David Crowder? He's huge right now?"
It's true he is huge, but in all fairness he's huger to me because at this point in my life I'm going out of my way trying to be just like him. We've started a new worship service at First Presby called "The Remix", and it's my honest attempt to get contemporary worship in our community. Ed and Matt are huge helps with this, but even they would tell you that I try to be just like David Crowder a little bit too much. All the same, he is leading us in worship three times this weekend, and I am planning on being up front for all three times...

My phone rings at 8:30. I am amazed that the crew back home has sorted out the sound system and everything already! Usually I'm just rolling into the gym around then to get everything set up! After double checking a few of the finer details with Mandi, I return to my devotional time, and say a couple of quick prayers for our team back home, for the congregation at the Bridge, and for our guest speaker Chris (who I hear did an excellent job! I can't wait to hear him next week!) It's nice to #1 know that you can leave the church for a week and have an excellent team to step in and take care of things for you and #2 be part of a worshipping community where being away literally tears at my heart strings. I love the Bridge. I love the people at the Bridge. They are like family to me.

Like I've said in a couple of these blog posts, I've had a gripe with the house band at this year's convention. (Actually, at lunch my friends and I discussed a couple of things we have a grip with. Look for those in the wrap up post). Honestly, save one major detail, I would probably have rather been at home worshiping at the Bridge than be here, with lights and video and effects and 80s singers. The major detail, of course, is that Donald Miller is speaking, and David Crowder is leading worship after the house band.

Crowder rocks! Illuminate is such a good CD, and it comes across flawlessly live! Watching them lead people in worship reminds me that I want my role at the Remix to be even bigger. I want to be on this never ending quest to take worship one step further, one step bigger. What's the next click for us? What's the next big thing?
This is tough. We have a congregation that fluctuates in attendance more than any other church in the nation I am certain. Some weeks there are 30 people. Some weeks there are 5. We change the seating arrangement every week, mostly because we never know what to set ourselves up for. I keep looking for that hook, for that next big thing, for that flashy element. What's coming next?

I realize as I am down front for David Crowder that in my youth (you know, like 6 years ago) that I wanted worship to be the next big thing. I wanted to see how far I could push the envelope, how far I could push my musical ability, how many more amps we could get on stage. And that's fun, and that's cool to listen to every now and again. But I'm realizing as I listen to Crowder Band that I am in dire need of finding the next small thing. I want things to get smaller, to get to a point where it's simpler. I want quiet worship. I want things to be more personal, between me and God. That sounds appealing to me these days. Please, everyone who's reading this comment in the section below and affirm for me that this is not a result of getting old!
(Something happened in between these two paragraphs, but for security reasons I must not blog about it now. Tune in later people! It's going to be fantastic!)

We all went out for lunch and had a big discussion about Youth Specialties. I don't know how all of this strikes me, but I know that it all strikes me. I want to come back to this stuff a little bit later for a secondary blog, but again, because I've seen some increased blog traffic these days, what are your thoughts about everything that's been going on with YS? Happy? Sad? Scared? Hopeful? I'd love to read your thoughts before I offer mine.

Six Years Ago (I think...maybe I'm mixing up memories here...if I'm wrong, pretend I'm not...this totally happened, I just don't remember when...)
I browse the offerings for this afternoon's workshops, and find something called "Experiential Worship". This sounds good! I am very worship minded today, feeding that side of my Dr. Youth Minister/Mister Worship Leader monster. However, as I get there, I realize this is all completely lame. Could it be that pretzels and Goldfish crackers could actually lead anybody to a deeper prayer experience? I doubt it severely! I take a piece of advice from Marko, and leave the session early to call my girlfriend Sarah.

After lunch, I went to a lab called Experiential worship with Lilly Lewin. Dang it was cool! In fact, I had a hard time paying attention towards the end, not because it was boring or anything, but because she had my mind so busy creative with ideas and plans to impliment back home that I was having a hard time not planning or creating during her workshop. This lab, along with Dan Kimball's the other day, has kind of opened up to me that we might have a hole (all be it, a smaller one) in our ministry. What do we do for the kids who don't like the loud worship? What do we do for the kids who don't dig youth group games? Are we leaving them behind? So I snuck down to the lobby to spend some time dreaming about some new ideas. I think we're going to have a lot to discuss at the Student Leadership Meeting this week!

More to come my friends. Oh, and as would be easily predictable, I have completely lost count of how many cups of coffee I had today.

Coffee Count: A lot.