Phil Wickham is a longtime friend of Worship Leader magazine. In the wake of Phil’s newly released single, “Living Hope”, and the pending August 3rd full album release of the same title, Worship Leader magazine’s Alex MacDougall caught up with Phil.
What kind of adult worshippers do you want to have? And then begin to work backward to define and develop what the goal needs to be for each age group and classroom within your church. You have 936 Sundays in the life of a young person. That’s over 900 opportunities, as you gather, to help kids fall in love with Jesus through worship.
Worship is intended to be something we bring ourselves to and participate in, not something done to us or for us. We bring ourselves into the presence of God. We bring our stories of redemption and enfold them into the larger story of God. We bring ourselves into imperfect and wonderful relationships with the people of God. We enter into the eternal dialogue.
In partnership with the Holy Spirit, creativity can give an opportunity to effectively captivate the listener with God’s unchanging truth in an unexpected, powerful and transformative way. This intentionality maximizes the precious moments when the church does gather, accomplishing far beyond what we understand today, or may ever know this side of eternity.
There are few other systems on earth that happen 52 times a year and then repeat, over and over again. As worship leaders, we fashion and lead a beautiful rhythm enacted by Christ which continually calls us together. Whatever the style of worship your tradition engages in, be encouraged that the habit of meeting together forms and shapes us.
In our worship – not just our “in the building” worship but our “in the worldwide church” worship – there are many different voices. We may gravitate toward some, and not toward others. This is natural, human. But we cannot dismiss any of our brothers and sisters for the ways in which they worship; in Christ, there is no them and us, no nation or denomination.
The best experiences we have as a gathered body are truly wonderful, but they are like the bands that play festivals early in the day while we await the headline act that comes hours later. Our gathered worship is helping us to get ready for the biggest headliner ever.
So many times we are overwhelmed by our jobs, ministries, families, and various personal responsibilities. How often are we overwhelmed and cleansed by the Holy Spirit? What a wonderful reason to gather. When we come together in unity and love, the sacred presence of the Holy Spirit is full and free.