I’ve led worship teams at a Vineyard church for about 15 years now, and this past February was the first time I ever attended a Vineyard Worship Leader’s Retreat. This one was held in Cannon Beach, Oregon, not too far from where “The Goonies” was filmed. It was beautiful – right on the ocean, and raining almost constantly.
It was an interesting experience and I’m not sure these events ever turn out how you’d expect. Honestly, I was kind of surprised at what came out of me. Some of it was insecurity, a lot of it was spiritual attack. On the positive side, though, I was able to find something I had been missing for a while: space.
What I mean by “space” in this context is simply slowing things down and simplifying, not feeling the need to constantly sing or talk, choosing some songs with fewer words that get to the heart of the matter. I believe worship is primarily about your relationship with God in the same way prayer is. It’s a conversation. Choosing songs with some space leaves room for God to speak as well. It can be tough and uncomfortable at times, but worth the effort.
When I was in Cannon Beach, in the middle of our first worship time, I remembered what first made me fall in love with worship all those years ago.
This is the song that did it for me at the conference. Take a listen:
And it’s the simple first verse that gets me every time:
All I want is to be with you
This is the type of song that made me first love worship, first really connect to Jesus through music. Very early on, songs like “Isn’t He” by John Wimber did the trick. In fact, it’s the simplicity of the expression of love to Jesus that Vineyard Music was first known for.
The secret is in the repetition of a simple line that brings you back to what’s most important. Also notice how much space there is for God to speak to you. I believe he wants to.
So, how is it for you lately? Is there enough space in your worship time? What other songs are out there that help facilitate that quiet space? If so, what do you hear God saying to you?