I’ve been thinking a lot about labels. When it comes to the ways we worship, I’ve noticed a lot of people have them. Recently I’ve noticed I might have some too. Performing at a new place every week, I get asked a lot of the same questions: “What is it like worshipping God through spoken word?... Why is it important to worship God through spoken word?… How long have you worshipped God through spoken word?” It’s easy to stay on the surface and respond, “Awesome, because it rocks, 7 years.” But when it comes down to it, I don’t think my label as “One who worships through spoken word” is actually correct.
I can (and do) go on for hours about why spoken word in the church is important, if not necessary. But spoken word for me personally is not the form of worship I chose because I think it’s the most important. On the contrary, it’s not the most important; it’s just one way. And while it’s imperative for us to find our own ways, life’s not really about finding just one way at all. It’s about using all things-- everything, in every way, to live a life of worship. Spoken word is one of the many ways I use to bring honor to God. Currently, it’s also how I make a living. But the day will come when I make a living elsewhere. Does that mean I’ve ceased to worship God in the right way? When we find our “ways,” but then find others, does that mean we’ve lost the true core of our heart of worship? Worship can’t possibly be that narrow.
We need to stop looking for our one label. For the past couple of years I've told the Lord, “I’m available; I worship you through my availability.” I’m available to use spoken word, but I’m also available to stop. I’m available to learn something new. I’m available to do… whatever. If I hold on to spoken word like it’s the one way I’ve been called to worship, then I’m ignoring all of the other ways I can serve the Lord and the people around me, and consequently, I worship how I worship.
Entitlement to our labels is dangerous. We can’t let labels limit how we show Jesus to the world. Obedience is what God asks of us. Availability is what God asks of us. Selflessness is what God asks of us.
We are not musicians. We are not artists. We are not preachers.
We are worshippers. We worship.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.” - Romans 12:1 (NIV)