Anyone who knows me, or my brothers know that we can talk all day to each other with movie quotes out of context.
Of course, that quote is from Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride”
But let’s look at the word “Awesome”. You are awesome, awesome sauce, That is Awesome! Awesome is one of the most overused words we throw around in the church world. Our kid makes an “A” on a report card, “That’s awesome, honey! They accomplish something and we say “that’s awesome buddy!” “You are awesome”.
Uhm, no not really.
Words mean things. When we misuse a word like “awesome” it waters down our descriptive words when we worship. Awesome is a word we use often to describe Him. Does it matter? I think it can.
Our job as worship leaders and technicians is to teach Worship Theology. Whether we like it or not, we perpetuate false doctrine, attitudes, traditions, and rituals, either grounded in scripture or not. Whether or not you agree with this statement, you are teaching worship theology.
One of my favorite big movie moments comes from the movie “Red Dragon”. It is a prequel to Silence of the lambs. It made me think about how I misuse the word “awesome”.
Francis Dolarhyde is the antagonist, and he is pronouncing his version of judgement on a journalist who wrote something about him he didn’t appreciate.
“I am the Dragon. And you call me insane. You are privy to a great becoming, but you recognize nothing. To me, you are a slug in the sun. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is your nature to do one thing correctly. Before me, you rightly tremble. But fear is not what you owe me. YOU OWE ME AWE.”
It was an aha moment for me. You Owe me AWE…
The God we worship, the God who spoke the universe into existence, sometimes gets a calloused response from us in corporate worship.
We rush into the sanctuary late, looking for a seat, wondering who stole “our chair” because we usually sit there, herding our kids in, adjusting them, threatening them to stand up straight, pay attention, holding our fancy coffee from the boutique coffee shop we stopped at earlier because we have to get our “tall mocha frappe whatever” topped off in the foyer with the free fru fru coffee of the month. We might make in by the last chorus of the first song, beginning of the second verse to begin our weekly ritual. Whew, we can check the “going to church” box off our list.
But we don’t respond with Awe.
We owe Him Awe…
This is the God who ordered into existence the solar system, created the sun moon, and stars. The sun which has such a terrifying power that it sustains life on earth and could destroy us if we were any closer or any further from it.
He spoke it into existence. We owe Him awe.
We are raising up generations of people who respond to the creator with no awe because we as the church do not respond to Him with awe.
How do we as worship leaders and technicians foster an attitude of “awe” with our Worship Team and technicians?
We have to talk about it. We have to put God on His throne in our hearts. It’s our job to shepherd them and remind them of His “awesomeness” I know that ‘service days’ are busy and hectic, especially when we have multiple services. I have been there. When volunteers cancel on you at the last minute, and you have to scramble. When the pastor changes the sermon at the last minute, and you have to adjust.
Our job is to be ready “no matter what”. I like to use this analogy with worship/technical teams.
One of my favorite worship leaders Jonathan Lewis said in a worship leading class…
“We are to be waiters setting the table for the bride and the Bridegroom to have an intimate encounter”
I like to take that a step further.
Picture a restaurant setting. The maître de, the waiter, the bus-boy, the cook, they all work to create an environment for a nice meal for you and your loved one. Whether you are an usher, greeter, bass player, choir member, or worship leader, your job is to create an environment for worship. Like the restaurant analogy, we want that environment to be distraction-free, (or at least that’s our goal) so the bride can have an intimate encounter with the Bridegroom, or a lost person to meet Him for the first time.
You see it doesn’t matter if I teach all the technical know-how in the world, (and I hope to impart technical stuff that will help you and your ministry) If you are not creating an environment for worship, you will not be as effective as you are called be.
Until next time, create an environment for worship, respond with “Awe” He deserves it. We owe it
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Michael is a 35+ year industry veteran with a passion for training in the technical arts. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Ministry and Worship Arts. He has a background that includes touring, system design, and consulting, and he has been on church staff as an Audio Engineer, Technical Director, Media pastor, and Worship Pastor. He has been a technical consultant for Air Force Entertainment, written curriculum for Christ for the Nations, and served as Adjunct Professor in the Worship and Tech Arts degree Program. He has been involved in sales and training for numerous manufacturers. He founded LiveWorshipAcademy.com, the first online certification program for church volunteers in the technical arts, and is the Director of Content. He is able to speak into the lives of both artistic and technical individuals, teaching technology as well as the worship theology behind it.