Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Pastor Adam Diehl from New Hope Christian Center.
A few weeks ago, I had the honor of teaching the SEND students in their learning community. It was a tremendous experience. I was asked to speak on the function of “worship” in a disciple’s life. Being a vocational worship pastor, I immediately thought, “Sure, I can teach about structuring a good worship team. I do that all the time.”
It wasn’t much later than I thought this, that I realized I was completely missing the mark. The conversation with myself went something like this: “Adam, don’t be a ding-dong. You MIGHT be talking to a future worship leader, but you need to talk about the importance of worship in a disciple’s life!”
I thought back to a couple months earlier when I had visited St. Thomas’ Church in Sheffield, England with Church Doctor Ministries. At St. Thomas’, I saw that the corporate worship of a church needs to be like the white hot coals in the center of a fire so that as the Church disperses throughout the week (the edges of the fire), their ministry will still be “hot” with the Spirit of God. That’s one of the purposes of worship; to connect with God’s presence so that we can take it out.
That’s just one thing I discussed with the SEND unit in the learning community. I had a blast talking with students that are truly hungry to know God and change the world around them.
After the teaching portion of the day, we all got together for a meal. It didn’t just seem like a meal, but a community building time. I could sense that amidst the pepperoni and sausage pizza.
Under typical situations, my time as the teacher would have been done for the day, but since my topic was worship they asked me to lead their “Engage” worship hour later that afternoon. This worship hour didn’t occur until after their confidential accountability groups, so in order to “blow” an hour until it was time for “Engage,” I set up a mobile office in a coffee shop next door to the SEND Training Center.
I’ll be honest – I was really looking forward to this hour by myself. I had been extremely busy and to think that I could have an hour to check office emails and solve a couple problems was really appealing to me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being with SEND, but I was also happy to have an hour of “get ‘er done” time as well.
My “get ‘er done” time was momentarily interrupted when my eyes wandered around the coffee shop. I noticed one of the SEND accountability groups (called “huddles”) decided to grab coffee before their meeting together. When most people would just get coffee and leave, the SEND unit was emitting the love of God to those around them – starting up conversations whenever they saw the opportunity. They were guiding the coffee shop employees towards Christ (and I don’t think the employees even knew they were being discipled). My “get ‘er done” time was interrupted for me to witness true movement and discipleship.
Later that day I led the students through a simple hour of thanks-giving Worship. It was powerful and we all met with God in a special way that day. Working with SEND was an experience I’ll never forget and I can’t wait to do it again!