We quit worship cold turkey.
Yep. As of yesterday, City Community Church put corporate worship on hiatus. Empty stage. No instruments. Just a hardwood floor, a stool, and some uncomfortable squirming (mostly from me).
Why? Well, why is exactly why. Let me see if I can explain.
Just a few short years ago, my co-pastor Nathan and I were worship leaders. Professionally. And while there were certainly more talented guys in our line of work, I feel I can humbly say we were pretty good at it. And not only in the ways that make cynics cynical.
So when launching CityCom became more than random “are we crazy” conversations over awkward text messages or bad Chinese food, I guess we assumed the successful template we had created for music in the church would naturally follow. That it should follow. Why wouldn’t it? Getting corporate worship to fall in line was the least of our concerns as we planted a new church.
Turns out, it obeyed about as well as my dog.
The people were different. The culture was different. The vibe was different. The focus was different. Everything was different. Everything but our expectations.
Old wine. New wineskins.
Last month, as I was watching one of our tireless, talented worship leaders function within this paradigm we had simply dragged and dropped, I couldn’t dodge the question any longer:
“Why are we doing this?”
I knew the standard answers. The Biblical ones. I’d taught them a million times.
But right there. In that moment. For those people. At that time. I had no answer. At least no good one. We had forced creative, passionate, worshipers into a very narrow channel. And I couldn’t seem to find the remote control.
Sometimes you have to stop doing something to remember why you were doing it in the first place.
So for the time being, we’re not going to open each service with the standard 22 minutes of music. We’re taking a break. A breath. A step back. A Selah if you like.
And I’m scared. Scared of the silence. Scared of the risk. Scared of making a big mistake. That’s why I know we have to plunge forward.
What if God wants to show us something brand new? Something fresh and full of life, desperately fighting to emerge as we rush to replicate normal. Or what if He’s just waiting to rekindle the why? Not the text-book answers. The one that stirs in your gut and erupts into the kind of worship expression the Father is longing for.
Have you ever had to stop doing something to remember why you were doing it?