Its hard for people who are in ministry, have been in ministry, or have been involved in Worship Production to sometimes find a way to Worship. In the last year I have transitioned not only from being on a church staff to being a lay person, but also out of all my technical/production related roles. So for me I’m in a new phase of “learning how to worship” again.
For me being technical I have to find ways and times that I can worship and either ignore the technical distractions (be it the use of technology, sound issues, lighting, ect) or move beyond them. I had a recent experience where the technical distractions were almost too much for me to even continue to sit through the worship service. Probably part of it was my mindset at the time, but has re-spurred me to a couple of things that I need to do.
Here are my thoughts on things to do to get into a mindset of worship:
1. Arrive early. The reason for this is multiple.
a) It allows you to have time to get your heart right, pray for God’s protection of your focus and to allow you to worship Him with your whole heart. We have to open ourselves to worship. If there is a hurt or pain we must ask God for healing and to mend us, as this will greatly distract us from worship.
b) It allows you to get a seat where you can worship with the least distractions. I’m finding more and more personally that this means closer to the front and center, which is contrary to what might be most “comfortable”. I spent years sitting in the back of the church service because I had to be able to get out easily in a case i was needed, but that is not the case anymore so I have to learn to change.
2. Find other ways or places to worship. For me I have to find times like driving in the car listening to Music to get my heart and mind focused. I have found places like North Pointe and Life Church’s online services to help greatly in allowing me to worship when I need it. I get the actual worship experience as well as the teaching. For some it may mean a major change, finding a new place of worship. This can be hard, but depending on your situation it might be what you need to do to worship. It can be either a permanent change or just a temporary thing to get yourself back into the Worshiping mindset.
3. Close your eyes. Sometimes what keeps those of us who are technical from worshiping is what we see. So be willing to close your eyes to remove that one sense from your distraction. Distractions can be the people around us, what they are doing, or the technology that is involved in the service. Be willing to close off your eyes so that these distractions do not keep you from experiencing Worship.
4. Make it a community experience, because well that is what it is meant to be. If you have a group of friends that you go to church with, you may need to ask them to surround you and help you to worship. This may be necessary if your not actually going to church and need the accountability to do it. If your hurting because of something that has happened you might need people to encourage you to be there, to worship and to be loved on by them.
For whatever reason that your life has changed and you need to re-learn how to worship, it is vital that we try to find a way to make worship a central part of our lives.
If your are actively serving on a church or ministry staff, you NEED to make time to worship. If you do not find a way or a time to worship each and every week you will be doing yourself, those you minister to and God an injustice. You cannot serve God fully if you are not opening your heart and time to worshiping and being feed by the Word. You need to make going to a worship service happen. If you find it impossible you need to beg those that you work with to help you make it happen and do the same thing for them.
Do not give up on worshiping God alone, but also with the community of believers God has placed you in.