I performed a combination of two pieces at The Worship Conference NorCal this past weekend. I was asked for the text of the piece. So if you are interested, here it is.
He told me "We're very proud of the ministry we have here."
"We have worked very hard to build a well-oiled machine."
He went on to describe what I could only assume to be
parts of his machine and turned to ask if could see myself as a
part of his ministry, and I wish he hadn't asked.
You see, some people build ministry
like a well-oiled machine.
They put in all their time, money, and people in hopes
that the machine will produce
the right produce, the right person, the right number
beware when your ministry becomes a well-oiled machine
for machines have not hearts
And some people build ministry like a well-oiled machine
that keeps breaking down.
They put in all their time, money, and people
and the machine will not produce.
Take courage, my friends; it is still a machine
and machines have not hearts
Machines have no need for miracles
they only ask for miracles
and then operate in ways to make miracles unnecessary
Machines are built with big budgets and bigger buildings
and I wish I could write these words in braille
so someone could feel what I'm saying
You don't need God
to build a machine
But worship is for the broken ones
smart enough to know how foolish they are
It is for those who have tried and found life lacking
but are not content to confess that 'this' is all there is
If is for those wearied of wondering
if our crying hearts might drown us
but know that our tears are telescopes to heaven
looking through trembling lenses for hope
and deeper senses of home
It is for those who don't need church
to be a menagerie of saints but an emergency room for sinners
it is for those whose shadows are faint
from finding too much light
Worship is for those who will step out onto nothing
hoping to land on something
because accepting that you are accepted
is a perception of yourself not everyone can afford
it is for the wobbly and weak-kneed
who have let loose the luxury of denying a handout
of amazing grace
It is for those who chose a path
though straight and narrow
is still rugged and beaten
you are still on the right path
Worship is for phobic confessor
who could never match the projections of the pious
but know that perfection is a gangly wire
no one could ever walk
It is for the child who holds
that heaven is full of five year olds
sparing themselves the futility of proving themselves
to people who will never speak your language
of half cartoon, half boo boo, half "Daddy, I love you."
Three halves make one
more than whole
Do not accept yourself as you should be
but as you are because you will never be as you should be
Quit rinsing your filthy rags in gas station bathrooms
as if hand soap and make believe
will make them believe you belong;
but you belong.
You belong to a kingdom
belonging to people not trying to cleaner than they are
Worship is for the sin-soaked and the broken
who are loved and outspoken
knowing unworthy is not the same as worthless
It is for the paupers
who have made peace with their flaws
It is for those who have prayed in silence
but have never ceased to pray
Worship is for you
do not for one second take your gift for granted
make sure it is contagious
because while it is yours to have
it is only valuable in its giving away
be sure your every conversation
leaves a sensation of love
because this is where the mighty descend and the lowly rise
to comprise what we all crave
Worship is standing on the lip of the Grand Canyon
with a contagious tour guide tell you to
"Look at THIS! Look at THAT! Look at THIS! Look at THAT!"
and if the Grand Canyon is only a faint shadow of God's glory
you have to wonder, "What must HE be like?"
You are not a worship singer, a backup vocalist, a drummer
a guitarist, a basist, or a sound tech
You are a worship leader
You are a tour guide to God's glory
So stand and shout for all who will listen
"Look at THIS! Look at THAT! Look at THIS!"