We arrive at church about ten minutes early, and after milling about for a while, we sit down.
A mostly youthful praise team assembles on the stage, which is a mere eight inches high; the low ceiling allows for little more. In addition to three who play guitar, there’s one on bass, a drummer, and two backup vocalists. The lead vocalist is also one of the guitarists. They’re accomplished but without a showy polish. They play and sing with energy and are some of the best we’ve experienced.
We’re encouraged to worship any way we wish, be it to dance, raise our arms, kneel, or even prostrate ourselves. For the second time in the last two weeks, a young child sings loudly and off-key but with unabashed enthusiasm. I love it and hope no one ever squashes his zeal of singing to God.
The three-song set lasts for about thirty minutes. Although lyrically repetitious, it’s also a visual worship experience. Many dance, some in the aisle and a few in front of the stage. Theirs is an exuberant expression of joy, which I vicariously experience. One of the backup vocalist, perhaps in middle school, jumps and dances with abandon as she sings, full of energy and passion and joy. With an occasional arm raised heavenward and an effervescent smile of delight, she often looks up as she praises God. It’s as if she sees Jesus and is smiling at him. Her angelic face ushers me into the presence of God. It’s a beautiful thing.
Following this is a time of testimony, prayer, and then preaching. The service ends and we head home, remembering this group of amazing young people who showed us how to worship God in spirit and in truth.