It scares me to write this post, as I realize I might sort of sound like the angry old curmudgeon yelling for the teens to get off my lawn, but it’s something that has been on my mind for a few days. Last week when I was attending the missions conference at Moody, I was truly blessed by the messages, plays, songs of praise and worship, and various other forms of worship. Part of the experience that really blessed me was just be surrounded by so many who were passionately praising God with all their hearts.
In the midst of one of the times of worship there was a kid a few rows ahead of us that caught my attention, and unfortunately held it for quite sometime. My wife says I have a problem where when I get perturbed at someone, I tend to stare a hole through them and hope they see me so they will realize how ridiculous they are. I found myself doing this with this kid as he was purposefully dancing like he was at a night club rather than in a worship service. He wasn’t just raising his hands in praise, but was full on cabbage patching, doing the sprinkler, and even the dreaded “Dougie” during slow praise and worship songs. The intention was pretty clear as he was trying to get his buddies and all those around him to watch him. This boy wanted attention and I found myself distracted and slowly getting upset.
This boy was an extreme example of what so many of us do in times of worship. We forget about who we are worshipping and why we are worshipping them. The purpose of our hearts gets mixed into how we feel in the moment and/or what reaction we get from those around us. I am not a proponent of any one time of music being plaid in a service, just look at my iPod and you will see everything from country, to rock, to pop and my taste in worship music is just as varied. I am not opposed to people who are more animated in their worship. I personally don’t raise my hands that often, but don’t have a problem with those who do. If you are a worship leader don’t think I am not into worship because I’m not clapping, I am sad to admit it, but I just have no rhythm.
My point of all this is, we always need to stay focused on Christ in our worship. Make sure that He is the real reason we are praising no matter how we do it. If we are not we are distracted and more than likely a distraction to others. We need to encourage our brothers and sisters to openly praise God and not distract them from worship. But, what do we do if we find ourselves in a service and their is a college kid doing the “Dougie” in front of us? I defer to the example of my mother. As we were leaving the service, my mother saw the young dancer and went up to talk to him. Part of me was petrified that she was going to give into the “Spirit of Smack” that I had. My mother went up to the young man and said hi and then asked him what his name was. She then caught him off guard by letting him know for the rest of the school year she would be praying for him. Mom didn’t tell the kid how out of line he was, or chew him out at all, she just committed herself to praying for him. He didn’t know why, and might have been left a bit puzzled, but now their is a very Godly lady from Kentucky praying for him. So, when you find yourself either being a distraction in worship or growing upset at someone who is a distraction, pray! When it’s you pray that you will stay focused on Jesus. When it’s the other person, pray that your heart would be right. Pray for that person, we don’t know what’s going on in their life that might be affecting their actions, so pray for them. Not that they will just realize the error of their ways, but pray for their heart and relationship with Christ. And let’s be pray warriors and remember it’s not about us…