I have been asking this question since I was a child! I have always longed for intimacy with my Creator and I know that I am not alone!!
I believe this is the cry of our hearts because a genuine meeting with Him is the only thing that really satisfies. Yet I am amazed at how often we as worship leaders seem to think that our job at our weekly gatherings is to excite or entertain Gods people! We need fresh reminders that the main reason people have gathered is a hunger to meet with God. Thats why each time I lead worship one of my goals is to create a setting for people to intimately encounter Him and then step aside. One of my guiding verses is He must become greater; I must become less.
In our lives when we get tired and overwhelmed we often turn to entertainment and we are distracted for a time but not deeply satisfied. But the presence of God that we encounter in genuine worship will satisfy. So this is the goal of each worship gathering; that we would encounter God!
And as much as culture changes all around us, this core hunger in the heart of each man and woman made in the image of God remains the same. Listen to the Psalmist pouring out his heart; these are timeless words that reveal this core longing in all of us!
1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.
5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God…
I would summarize it this way — life is hard sometimes yet I am hungering for God and I know that I will experience the goodness of God
Embracing the longing to meet with God does not mean that we do a half-hearted mediocre job of putting together our music and visuals for our services. It means we do them with all of our hearts and skills for a reason, and that reason is to help people meet with God not entertain them. And there is a difference. There are lots of places in our culture people can go to be entertained. I have no problem with that. I love a great movie filled with great characters and story as much as the next person! But we gather as Gods people, I always remind myself that my first job is to provide a setting for people to meet with God, and no matter what changes around me in culture, that goal will never change!
Brian Doerksen is one of today’s premier worship songwriters and leaders. His music has impacted the Church for decades, giving us songs like “Come Now Is The Time” and “Light the Fire Again” as a language for intimate worship.
We would like to thank Brian for the rights to print his article here at Worship One!