Seven weeks ago, I was being commissioned to go on a mission trip. The next couple of Sundays were spent worshiping with the Czech, expatriates and Latvians. Then I came home and worshiped with FUMC Grapevine's Spanish-speaking congregation. The following week I was in worship at a Cumberland Presbyterian church in rural Tennessee, followed the next week by a vibrant Methodist Church in Maryville, TN.
Visiting other churches has really made me think about what we demand in our worship experiences. Are we focused on God, or on the experiences and styles we like or don't like? In the eight congregations I've encountered in the past seven weeks, I've found that they all have one thing in common: faith. Whether their worship is simple or reverent or vibrant... slow or fast... traditional or contemporary or blended... the opportunity to connect with God was available for all. And the people in the pews are faithful and committed.
The only barrier to worship seems to be your own mentality. If you'll be fully present, open and willing, then worship happens regardless of the music or surroundings or people sitting beside you. I hope that I've learned something about myself and about the church in the past few weeks. What I hope more than anything is that I'll be able to find some peace about my own struggle to reconcile work with church... especially since they're one and the same.