Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” — John 21:17, NIV
My calling as a worship leader is to help people fall deeply in love with God. Almost 25 years ago, I heard Ken Hemphill say, “Most issues of church growth resolve themselves when church members fall deeply in love with God.” This statement led to an important revelation for me. My calling as a worship leader is to help people fall in love with God. And I don’t mean ‘sentimental romantic’ love, but ‘surrender in total obedience’ kind of love.
The vertical vortex of spirit and truth compels us to fall deeply in love with God. A deep love for God is at the heart of the circle of missional living. That love is demonstrated in worship through personal lifestyle and corporate acts. Worship is to Christian life what going on a date with your spouse is to marriage. The time spent together is a celebration and expression of total commitment. It reminds me that “I Only Have Eyes for You,” as the pop song says. I express my own incompleteness and the need I have for my spouse. Our hearts affirm our growing unity in each other. These elements of a date with our spouse are present in authentic worship as well. Yet I continually see churches stop worshiping to sing a birthday song, make announcements, or talk about yesterday’s sports event. This interrupts the energy driving the vortex, like taking a phone call in the middle of a dinner date with your spouse.
In his book Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God, Gary Thomas wrote: “When I die, I hope that I will have been able to love God with everything I am: I will have worked to turn my mind over to his wisdom and truth, my hands over to his service, my sight over to his beauty, and my entire being over to enjoying his presence.”1
Jesus called his disciples to share the gospel with the world. Why were these men chosen for such an important task? The four gospels present a clear picture of them in their weakness and humanity. We see their lack of spiritual perception; we know their naïve ambition; we empathize with their fears and doubts. The truth is that they were a lot like you and me. Yet God worked through them to change the world, and he is ready to work through us too. The disciples had encountered the resurrected Christ and fallen deeply in love with God. Worship in spirit and truth produces such love. Before we ever grow to become a “worshiping disciple on mission” we must fall deeply in love with God in Christ! – Mark Powers
1. Thomas, Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God, 68.