Saturday, July 01, 2006

Day Four PDW Report

Well, day four marked the end of the PDW conference. I must say that once we were finished, I felt completely "undone." This last session with Louie Giglio left me convicted and encouraged at the same time.

On this final day, we only held a general session and a worship session. It started with Chris Tomlin playing a few songs alone on guitar. Buddy Owens opened the day and then introduced Louie Giglio, the founder of the Passion movement and worshiptogether. Let me take you through this amazing discussion.

His initial statement point was that the "worship conversation" is not getting clearer. At this point, Louie took us through a energetic and humorous recent history of worship in the church. We have always worshipped, but there have been different ways.
  • Starting in the 50s, there really wasn't a "worship conversation."
  • But somewhere in the 60s and early 70s, contemporary music started "attacking" the church. (Some very funny anecdotes and illustrations here).
  • Then we came up with "modern" worship. Isn't that strange that we've come up with an updated type of worship for a God who is timeless?
  • There there was "blended" worship. Very bad idea - nobody is happy!
  • How about "ancient-future" worship. Let's take a lot of really old worship and sing it as though it were new,
  • Modern worship wasn't new enough so we had to have "post-modern" worship.
  • Then "emerging" worship. You know, because any day, worship is going to emerge.
  • Every year, there will be something new, but we have not clarified the questions of worship. How do we know when we have worshipped? When can we "check the box?"
Louie focused his presentation on Hebrews 13:15-16, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."

The core theme of worship is the righteousness of Jesus Christ as mediator for all people. "Through Jesus, therefore..." Verses 11 and 12 set it up. Jesus died outside the city gates. We must always be reminded of the cross of Jesus. It is through the cross that we can praise God.

True worship is always marked by the cross. It is only through His suffering, sacrifice, and blood that we can worship.
  • We don't come into the presence of God without coming through the doorway of Jesus. Louie has six guys come up on stage and stand face to face, hold up their hands, and create an archway (or doorway, if you will) in which Louie could walk through during this illustration.
  • If the doorway is closed, you can't get through. If it is a little open, there will be a little worship. But if the door is wide open and lavishly decorated, our worship will be unbridled.
  • Ask yourself, what does it look like when people go through the door of mercy and grace?
  • Eric's thoughts - I have to ask, how much Jesus is there in our worship? Do we talk about Him? Do we acknowledge Him in our services? Not just that He exists, but that He saved us and daily lives inside of us? Is it evidenced in our hearts and in our worship? Without Him, the doorway is closed.
There are implications...
  • Some of us are carrying guilt and shame. It is like a big rock that we carry upon our shoulders.
  • But Jesus says, "It is finished. I was crushed by your rock of iniquity, please don't pick it up again." "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).
  • Some of us can only get our hands as high as the rock we carry. It is difficult to get through the doorway.
  • Some of us stand outside the doorway and look through saying "Hey God, I'll just stand out here."
  • But going through the door, our heart melts, we take on reverence and awe, and we are taken to our knees.
  • Eric's thoughts - How many of us stand outside the doorway each Sunday, never meeting with God? Never coming into His presence?
The direction of worship is to God. We worship for God, not for us. Yes, is blesses us in many different ways, But it is for God. He must be the focus.
  • How many of us get in the car after worship and make comments like...I didn't like that last song...I wish so-and-so was leading...I really enjoyed worship today...I wish we didn't have to stand so long...etc?
  • The cross does not shine a big spotlight on me. Worship is NOT about me.
  • Even with the is about people, but it is FOR GOD.
  • When we get in the car after a service, maybe we should as God. "God, what did you enjoy about the service?" "Did You get anything out of the worship." He might say, "Yeah, I got something out of it...I was offended." Sometimes in worship, we are a bunch of liars. We sing "How Great Thou Art" but don't mean it in our hearts and express it in our worship. Our worship is boring to God. "Yeah, but God, what about the band. Weren't they great? Wasn't that a cool song?" God wants our hearts - all of us. Are we giving Him that?
  • Louie gave a story about how he took his wife to Italy for their tenth marriage anniversary. His twentieth is coming up and the expectation is high. He joked about taking her to Alabama to stay in a run-down Holiday Inn. It was very funny, but it lead to a point.
  • It is not appropriate to come in on Sunday and give God the run-down Holiday Inn of worship. He deserves our best.
  • Our worship needs to be appropriate and proportional to the God we worship.
  • Let us invite the lost and let them be amazed at our worship.
  • And Worship is more than just music. If we make 20 minutes of music on Sunday morning our definition of worship, we are doing God a great disservice.
"Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise." Worship more about what you give, than what you get. We worship because we came through the door. We need to move from being consumers of worship, to consumees of worship. In other words, instead of being consumers, we need to be consumed by worship.
  • Consumers buy, consumees have already been bought
  • For consumers worship is about style, for consumees it's about surrender
  • For consumers worship is enjoyable, for consumees it's costly
  • For consumers worship feels good, for consumees it hurts good
  • Consumer worship is segmented, consumee worship is all of life
  • Consumer worship uses up the songs, consumee worship uses up the singer
  • Consumer worship is about my choice, consumee worship is His will
Finally, this is how we can check the box...
  • The scripture tells us what worship is..."The fruit of lips that confess His name." This means telling God that He's the best and telling the world that He's the best.
    "Do not forget to DO GOOD and to SHARE WITH OTHERS with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."
  • God is not saying "Man, I hope they sing me some songs this morning." He is saying, "I hope they GO OUT and touch lives, help the sick, poor, oppressed - the people whom this world has no concern for.
  • Consider the brothel down a small alley in India where a little 8-year-old girl is chained to a bed. Does God want another song? or does He want more?
  • Louie fears that we may be know as the most style-obsessed, most worship-consuming, and the least poor-embracing generation in the history of Christianity.
  • Caring for widows and orphans...and keeping ourselves unpolluted...will save us from the little bitty lines of small worship.
So I have to ask, where is worship in our churches. I think that we have missed the point. As a worship leader, it is one of my jobs to prepare an atmosphere in which people can walk through the doorway each week (of course there is more). People need to see Jesus, but also come to meet Him - and I don't believe they do. They are comfortable to stand outside, look at Him, and say "great to know ya." But worship changes us - It transforms us because you can't come face-to-face with Jesus and come away unchanged, unconcerned, and undone.

Louie said "If your life is not changing, worship is not happening in your life." Each of us need to consider that statement very closely. Especially when we are more concerned about whether the music is too loud, whether we're standing or not, we're uncomfortable with the way the person next to us worships, whether the windows are covered, whether we like the decorations, whether we get to hold a mic or not, whether we have enough variety, whether we like the songs, etc. IT'S NOT ABOUT US! IT'S ABOUT GOD! IT'S FOR GOD and He wants your heart totally focused and committed to Him! Even during our worship times.

Also, Louie talked about the doorway to worship being Jesus. It's so very true. But it now makes more sense to me why "coming into worship" is so hard at our church. Jesus is an aside. He is a historical figure that existed, even died for our sins. But He seems to have no bearing on everyday life. We rely on Him for nothing. We rely on our willpower and our to-do lists for daily life. We MAJOR on sin-management, and believe Jesus saved us for so much more!!! He wants to invade our lives, transform us, speak to us everyday (yes, I said SPEAK TO US). He has something to say for everything we do and ask. He wants to be intimately involved with us and He wants us to be intimately involved with Him.

If worship is truly our response to who God is and what He's done, our response is pitiful.

Okay, so my rant is over. My heart was undone by Louie's talk. I love God AND I love people. I want to see us come to Him and know Him. I am tired of playing church. I want to see people meet with Him, live in Him, and be transformed.

Well, that's it. I will try to follow up in the next week with some photos and a list of "Things I Learned at the PDW Conference 2006." Now we're looking forward to a little vacation time with family and friends.

**UPDATE: See all the PDW posts listed here...