The presence of God in worship

This great post by Joel Brown, one of the worship pastors at Mars Hill Church (who I actually got to hear with his band Kenosis on Sunday night), has been shaping a lot of how I think about worship for the past couple months.

I think so often as worship leaders we feel like our job is to take people into this elusive place – “God’s presence”, as if was somehow hidden from us and we have the magical secret to how to get there.  Apparently it seems that this secret usually involves melodies, beats, and emotion.  And music does serve the church well when it does what music does best – drawing people together in shared creative expression, revealing truth about God and testifying to His glory, providing a vehicle by which we can declare our love and adoration to God, and moving the soul in ways that words simply cannot.  However, it ultimately falls short if we expect it to somehow serve as our means of entering into the presence of God.  As much as I love music and as great a tool as it is, it can NEVER take me/us/anyone into the awe-inspiring, life-transforming, culture-shaping presence of God.  Only Jesus can do and does that through the work of the Holy Spirit.  He alone is our mediator.

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