Posted by Craig Borlase on 18 February 2015

We’ve all seen it before; a polite sounding young chap with a clean haircut stands beside the River Thames and asks the world to pray. OK, perhaps it’s not an every day occurrence, but Worship Central’s recent call for people to gather to pray and set themselves apart was nothing new.  And yet somehow it made a connection…

All over the world, across ten days, people did exactly what they were asked, putting aside time to dedicate the year ahead to the pursuit of a deeper, broader encounter with God through worship.

And it got us thinking…

* Pull still beats push

Thankfully, the days of being guilted into action, shamed out of apathy or just plain terrified into a response are starting to fade. Churches, like politicians, business leaders and tech gurus know how important it is to invite our contribution rather than sell their product. The offer to gather with those around us and make space and time to prepare hit the right note, and if we carry on in the same way - treating our worship as a means to deepen people’s relationship with God, rather than escape the world around us - then 2015 might hold some seriously tasty potential.

* We’re followers as much as we’re leaders

For those who attend church in the UK it is hard to go more than a few days without noticing the influence of Worship Central’s parent church, HTB. Alpha is everywhere, the songs are ubiquitous and when the annual Leadership conference opens its doors the assembled thousands surge into the Albert Hall with all the energy and enthusiasm of a thousand geography teachers at a Bear Grylls convention. Of course there are critics, but so much of the appeal of HTB - just like Worship Central - comes from the way in which it does not try to make clones (just look at the Leadership Conference speaker line-up), but instead aims to both inspire and equip. The call to set ourselves apart did just that, uniting people around a common call, but leaving up to us and God the detail of what came out of those times of prayer and worship. We all need to be empowered, just like we all need to be led.

* We’re optimistic

Tim’s recollection of someone telling him that “we can get over fascinated by production but under fascinated by the presence of God” is timely. So is his comment that “No song, no sound is really going to change someone’s life, only the Spirit of God…” As worship leaders we’re an odd bunch, prone to getting distracted and getting over excited by the latest sounds and styles. But more than our weakness and more than our mistakes, we are right to be optimistic about the year ahead. Why? Because like prodigal sons and religious persecutors struck temporarily blind, it is when we are on our knees and realise how much we are dependent on God that the very best adventures begin.

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