For: The Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Green Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt
Being a leader can sometimes leave your head spinning. How do you meet the needs of the many individuals with their varied backgrounds, tastes, maturity, etc.? How do you touch on the places of need without leaving anyone out? How can you be accessible and relevant all at the same time?
A pastor told a story once of a worship intercession gathering he hosted at his church. Having attended a few of these myself, I know first-hand that they are not geared to be "seeker-sensitive" in the human sense of the word. Strange things sometimes happen. Songs are not posted on a wall nor in a song sheet. No one explains much of what is happening. Those who lead are simply passionate about worshiping God and giving Him their full attention.
This pastor noticed someone there who looked like it was his first time. Come to find out, not only was it his first time, he had no idea what he had been invited to. Upon further conversation, the pastor found out that the young man was in a homosexual relationship and was not a believer. He told the young man to consider this place like God's living room, to have a seat and to just observe what was going on.
Within half an hour, the young man had found someone to pray for him.
Another fifteen minutes and he was giving his life to the Lord.
No one had specifically purposed to be accessible and relevant to this young man in the ways that these terms are most often understood. They had, however, made themselves available to God, spent time with Him, ministered to Him and loved on Him. His presence came. This young man found Jesus.
And don't you know, God is the most seeker-sensitive of all of us.
So, how does a church become more accessible, more relevant?
By fixing our gaze on Jesus, by soaking in His Presence, by declaring His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven, by being sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is saying and doing and then leading people to that place where Heaven and earth overlap.
And just maybe, we'll become accessible and relevant to those we serve, to our communities, our cities, our nation. I'm not against practical ways and methodologies. I just believe that those ideas work most effectively if they flow out of an intense focus on God and a life lived in His presence.