As I (Blake) was prepping for my annual worship course I teach at AGI's SALT school, I ran into a wonderful story by Henri Nouwen in his book Creative Ministry. It ties in to last weeks post about the importance of understanding our "why".
"...a Vietnamese Buddhist monk came to Holland and one day walked into the house where I lived. He was a thin man whom you would be afraid to touch...While he looked straight into my eyes, he said: “There was a man on a horse galloping swiftly along the road. An old farmer standing in the fields, seeing him pass by, called out, ‘Hey, rider, where are you going?’ The rider turned around and shouted back, ‘Don’t ask me, just ask my horse!’ ”
The monk looked at me and said: “That is your condition. You are no longer master over your own destiny. You have lost control over the great powers that pull you forward toward an unknown direction. You have become a passive victim of an ongoing movement which you do not understand.”
We must all always seek to understand why we worship the way we do and test these methods, first and foremost, with the Word of God. Secondly, we must test them against our culture. Our private worship will drive our public worship. In public (or corporate) worship, participation is the key. If we are riding a horse that no longer communicates to our culture and encourages those in our culture to participate in worship, then we must be open to changing directions...even possibly changing horses.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. As I begin teaching next week, together we are impacting students and churches literally all across Ireland.