The need for solitude in worship

I just got out of Lilly Lewin’s seminar titled, “Creating Sacred Spaces: A practical intro to experiential worship.” Most of the seminar focused on practical ideas for creating worship that’s interactive and utilizes all five senses, but she made one side-comment that pricked my brain. From that point on I was only kinda half-listening as I scribbled down my thoughts.

She said, “We need to create a personal space for people to worship however they want. People today don’t know how to worship on their own.”

Lilly moved on from there, but I didn’t. That’s such a huge statement! We’ve raised a church of people that need someone up front telling them when to stand, what to sing, when to sit, when to stop singing, when to pray and when to stop praying. It’s more like playing “follow the leader” than anything else. Many of us are more focused on the person telling us what to do than we are on worshipping our Savior. What about the person who really just needs to linger in God’s presence? In church worship we’re all pulled along at the same pace. In a perfect world people would worship privately at home at their own pace and this wouldn’t really be an issue, but it’s obviously not a perfect world. So again, as I asked in a previous blog post, what’s the church’s responsibility in leading the congregation in worship?

Our culture is so loud, so noisy, so intense. We’re so deeply immersed in it that we don’t really notice the screaming volume until we intentionally take time to focus quietly on the Lord. If students aren’t intentionally making this time in their lives, should we create it for them at youth group? Or is there some other kind of transformation that needs to take place in their lives first before a “sacred space” can be worthwhile?

Jeremy Camp just started leading worship in the last general session here, so maybe I’ll continue this later.

[tags]Lilly Lewin, NYWC, National Youth Workers Convention, Youth Specialties[/tags]

Posted on October 9, 2006

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