Emotional Responses in Worship

8546820219_e42f639c67_nI love Carlos Whittaker’s short blog post about feelingsWe were definitely created to FEEL.

As a worship leader, sometimes talking about “feelings” can get really weird and almost scary-sounding, right?

Because – as a worship leader – you don’t want to be accused of “manipulating an emotional response.” That’s like the worship leader’s kiss of death.

But is it, really?

Because here’s the deal. God created us to feel. Feel and react to things. Things like an awesome song, a great dinner, or an amazing sunset. A beautiful work of art can give us chills. If you like sports, a touchdown can bring you shouting to your feet.

Our emotions are “turned on” by those things. Because that’s how God made us. It’s how we respond and react.

I think God put those emotions in us – those types of responses and reactions – as a sort of  “hook.” Sorta like in coding. WordPress has a bunch of hooks that do things – hooks make something easier, allow you to access something, etc. It’s a hook made by the coder to get stuff done.

I think God did that same thing with our feelings and emotions. So in worship, sometimes we suddenly get caught up in the moment. We react to God’s presence. We react to what we are feeling. And that’s ok – it’s a good thing. God hard-coded that response into us.

It’s a hook put there by the Creator that points us back to Him.

So let’s take that a bit further. ALL those similar feelings we get … those emotional responses we have during a moving worship song … OR when looking at a sunset. OR that same feeling you get during a cool rock concert, or while experiencing art. Those are also hooks – triggers – that point back to God.

So. How about when you are a worship leader, and you notice that hook, and “go with the flow” so to speak? Are you manipulating worship? No, I don’t think so. You are basically pointing out the hook, and letting us know it’s there.

Anything wrong with that? I don’t think so.

Recognizing God’s hook in worship has really changed how I think about congregational responses to worship. Like when people clap after a song. At those times, “God happened.” And people are responding to it.

Pretty freaking awesome, if you ask me!

image by Peter Konnecke

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Posted in Leading Worship, Worship

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David Lee King

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