Tonight, Louie Giglio spoke, and it was the best message on worship I’ve heard thus far. Maybe in my entire life and study. I think it was two things other talks I’ve heard haven’t been:
a) vernacular (i.e. understandable, accessible, common language)
b) succinct (i.e. simple, short, profound but clear)
The truth is, worship is difficult to put into words. Well, words that make sense, anyway. All of Christian life is worship, and yet, there is something profound about humanity giving voice to the Creator. Giving voice is something that doesn’t just resonate within the Biblical text but could also be considered a wider message to our generation found in academic text books and journal articles. In fact, my last assignment was haunted by Paulo Freire’s thesis – that in order for development to occur, the poor must gain voice as the only way to enact change. Giving voice is also noted to aid in reconciliation, where a victim voicing their side of the story is not only a powerful agent for their own healing, but also the only way divides are truly overcome (thank you Schreiter). I can’t help believing that giving voice is a spiritual act. This can all be unpacked (the unfortunate position of a PhD student = time poor and idea rich), but it isn’t the subject of my post tonight.
Louie expounded on our universe and the symphony of song to the Creator. Without ruining the moment, he had the help of a programmer and some cleverly crafted poetic oratory. But actually, I have been convicted to change my thinking and conversation while within church circles. It’s not that I don’t think Louie is talented. But this message was something more than just Louie Giglio crafting a talk.
Thousands of Christians converge on Sydney every July for Hillsong conference. The amount of church communities represented is astounding. So many people worshiping together, and united in appreciation for the same things, they share an experience together and in the corridors, they point out meaningful moments for them and their teams. This week, multiple people have grabbed me and said ‘wasn’t Louie’s message amazing?’ … and I don’t think I would be offending Mr Giglio to say in response ‘uh, no’.
What? Didn’t I just post that I loved this conference session? Yes! But I’m not applauding Louie’s thoughts on worship. It was the Spirit within these thoughts that made them amazing.
So I’ve decided, I’m not going to talk about ‘Louie Giglio’s talk’, but about ‘God’s message on worship’ coming from the stage at Hillsong Conference this year. Honour where honour’s due. To God. The only way to stop Christian celebritization and focus on the right things is to actually change this culture. And I feel, after Louie’s question and answer session yesterday, he would applaud a change too. Praise to the Spirit for the message being spoken to the church. in the King James version – Let him who has ears, let him hear.