Worshipping In The Dark

Sunday during the second service, right as our worship team was cranking up for the third song – something went “pop” and then everything went dark.

Like pitch dark.

Like couldn’t see my hand in front of my face kind of dark.

Somebody said in a fairly loud voice – “Now THAT’S WORSHIP!!!”

What we first thought was just a blown fuse ended up being an entire grid (or two) down. The entire city of Auburn – just to the south of us – was without power as well. We had a couple of exit lamps and those little emergency lights running.

I stood up, got a thumbs up from our incredible children’s workers telling me – all the kids were fine and there was no panic going on at all. So I taught. In the dark. By the light of my iPad.

After second service, I figured folks would know we didn’t have power and hardly anybody would show up. Boy was I wrong. We had a packed house and as I turned to Rick (our worship pastor), he was grinning.

“I got this” he said. “We’re gonna grab our acoustics guitar, a cajon, djembe – our keyboard player tracked down one of those kid pianos that has the single note keys on it. She’s going to play that. We’ll gather everybody close and just worship in the dark.”

And off third service went – in complete darkness. We sang, prayed. I taught. Had no idea on facial expressions or anything. There was no video, ProPresenter – nothing.

This morning my inbox had some of these gems:

“I was in tears yesterday at the simplicity of worship. Thank you for pushing us beyond our comfort zone.”

“This reminds me of Rich Mullins in concert!”

“What an honor to be at a church where worship is worship, not the show.”

“I’m not sure what exactly happened in service today – but it was good.”

At Creative Team meeting today, we were talking about the whys. As in – why did we get such a huge response given we had no power for 2 of our 3 services? Why didn’t it just crater and fall apart? What was it that people connected so deeply with it?

I don’t think there is a single answer to any of those but here’s my list.

I think it forced us to get quiet. With no eye-candy or video or any kind of noise, the room was really silent in some spaces. And it felt good. It created an atmosphere of anticipation and silence.

I think it revealed the real heart of our worship team. That it’s not about the lights, toys, microphones, or videos. When all of that was taken away, they just jumped in and found other ways to worship and invite the rest of us to join them. And that’s huge – to have a worship team that worships – not performs.

I think it showed the heart of our church. We love the Lord but don’t take ourselves too seriously. So when the power went out, nobody hit the panic button nor did anyone make a big deal about it ‘ruining’ the morning. In fact, just the opposite happened. We loved it. Just another memory of worship with each other.

I think it also showed us the heart of our God – who does this sort of thing everyday in the remotest of places around the globe. Where mud floors and thatch roofs are considered a luxury, he is pleased to ‘show up’ in these places. (I know that’s not theologically accurate…I’m trying to make a point here.)

He loves to meet us in our silent, dark places to prove once again that he is here.

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