Jesus Doesn’t Need our Sparkle

Mar 5, 2024Archive, blog

This morning I read from @ct_mag : “What the Asbury Revival Taught Me about Gen Z” by Kevin Brown.

In it, he writes about the worship teams who participated. “Without being directed, they played from the side of the stage, outside the spotlight. This was consistent with a broader and unspoken sensibility to get out of the way.”

So much of modern worship today is the opposite of that out-of-the-way-ness. It’s designed. Expensive lighting and fog machines augment a well coiffed, expensively dressed worship team.

I write this as one who enjoys modern worship. But God has stirred my heart about the performance-woo-woo nature of some of its iterations.

Is it necessary that worship music always sparks emotions? Must it always be professional & polished & produced? Do we really need auto-tune in our modern day worship sets? Have we become so removed from the simplicity of the gospel that we’ve negated its power by “producing” Jesus for the masses?

Brown continues, “Prior to leading worship, teams would spend an hour in a ‘consecration room’ that we had set aside, to pray and to be prayed over. While this nonvisible space had been given scant attention, one person described it as the ‘nuclear reactor’ of the outpouring.”

When God revives us, he does so supernaturally, and often in the quiet of his presence. It’s an inside out phenomenon, where we are changed internally, then we respond in worship externally.

A revived heart is not manipulated from the outside. It is not carefully orchestrated through “Sunday morning experiences.”

Personally, I have had to reevaluate my own practices, particularly around musical worship. That means taking an inventory of the most profound experiences of musical worship I’ve experienced.

*Lei Wah sitting before a tape recorder, singing her heart out to the Lord in Malaysia. Just watching her lay her heart before God stirred something in my heart that I still ponder today.

*Singing in multiple languages at a conference in Cape Town, SA.

*An off-key, unsophisticated worship set that caused me to fall to my knees in repentance.

The thread is this: Jesus meets me supernaturally (often with no fanfare), & I respond by worship.