Monday, June 18, 2007

Taking Time to Worship

Last week I spent three days in Chicago at the Willow Creek Arts Conference. I had flown in on business from LA Tuesday night and had barely given the conference much thought. My overall impression was that I was coming to get filled up and have one of those Christian mountain-top experiences. While it was VERY rewarding, quite the opposite happened.

God really stirred my heart during the conference. The first day I felt a shifting in the spiritual world as I took in the great worship and messages from various speakers. It left me confused because I desperately wanted to hear God's voice. In hindsight, God was speaking but He just wasn't sharing any insights with my current struggles. But he was saying, "Hey Erik. We really need to hang out more."

During my first breakout session on Wednesday morning, one of Willow Creek's worship leaders (Helena McNeil) lead a workshop on "Being a Worshipper." I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to get much out of this and wasn't actually even planning on attending except that the "Building a Worship Ministry" workshop was already booked. I trusted God had a plan for me attending.

I was immediately intrigued as she was from Australia (a place I would love to move to someday) and has twins (as do I). Helena is an angel. She has the anointing of God over her so as her talk unfolded, I hung on ever word from her passionate heart. It was as if she and Misty Edwards were carved from the same DNA...there's just something special about them. Godly. Holy. Anointed.

Disappointed there wouldn't be any Q & A time, Helena turned to the piano and left some time at the end of the workshop to worship. And God began moving throughout the room...I mean seriously moving. I got hit pretty hard and began crying as I sang my guts out to the Lord.

The night before, my pastor asked me if I was able to worship while leading worship. I pondered his question and said, "You know I think I do. Although sometimes I am thinking about what's next and where I am in a song."

But God spoke to me during this session. He said, "You've been so busy leading people to worship you've forgotten how to worship and how to be lead in worship."

He was right.

I was crying, along with everyone else in the room.

Our voices and hearts were lifted high. It was a beautiful moment in time to hear 200-300 other worship leaders crying out to God in a unified voice. It was heavenly and I thank God for that pinprick of what heaven might be like.