‘My friends invited me to this Christian thing… When I got in there the band were singing songs about God and everyone was clapping and getting into it, which was pretty cool. Then when it got to the slower songs they did other stuff like close their eyes, lift their hands in the air and sing in between the songs, which was definitely new for me! What’s the deal with that?’
If you’ve been to an event like Ignite LIVE or CONFERENCE you know what this guy’s talking about. If you’re like “I’m with him” don’t worry, you’re in good company! Lots of people are thrown when they experience live ‘Jesus music’ for the first time, but for some reason it eventually grows on them and they start to get into it. Why is that?
For Jesus followers, singing to God is not the same as grooving along to your favourite beats on the radio, although the songs can be just as catchy. For us it’s about connecting with God through the songs – singing the words from our hearts to this real person we know and love – Jesus. When this happens everything goes ‘up a new level’, which is actually really cool. What’s the name of that level? WORSHIP.
Worship happens whenever you move from ‘singing the songs’ to praying the songs. Worship happens when you’re having a bad day and despite your bad mood you let it fall to the floor and choose to sing instead. Worship happens when you’re not singing at all, but just loving the people around you throughout the day. It’s any choice you make24/7 to show God your gratitude for all He’s done. For Catholics, the ultimate worship experience is the Mass or ‘Eucharist’, because Jesus is present there in a real way unlike any other. Worship is a massive concept – but it doesn't need to freak you out. Just start wherever you are and dip your toe in the water.
Worshipping with others who believe in Jesus is also a really powerful thing. Sure, it takes time to stop feeling self-conscious thinking "everyone else is staring at me". Guarantee, they're not; we’ve all been there! It takes time to feel free enough to do something like lift your hands in the air or sing out loud by yourself. But just take it it one step at a time and be open to trying something new.
How do we know all this? We’ve experienced worship ourselves. And there's no reason you can't too.
Try worship on for size next time you get an opportunity. You won’t be disappointed!
Tip: Download the latest music from our mates in emmanuelworship - it's sure to get you kickstarted. Check them out here