Lasting Impressions

I was listening the other day to a podcast about worship produced by James MacDonald and his Vertical Church Conference. I highly recommend you take the 24 minutes to listen to it sometime – you can find it by clicking here.

I may do some other posts about some of the great stuff in this talk, but it was actually a passing comment made by Paul Baloche in the podcast that really struck me. Near the end of the episode, Paul is telling James MacDonald and Meredith Andrews that he loves to visit their church or participate in their worship. He tells them that whenever he goes there and then leaves, he loves God more. When I heard that, I thought, “Wow. What a great mission statement for worship ministry.”

As a worship leader, you can get confused sometimes on what the real goal of that worship time is. What result am I looking for? What does it look like? Is it lots of hands raised? Is it great music or transitions? I think Paul has hit on something when he says that the worship causes him to leave that place loving God more than when he arrived. Does our worship inspire those in attendance to love God more?

As I considered that, I also realized that this is not a thought that applies simply to worship ministry. We should strive for the same thing as a church. As people come into contact with our church, either by attending a service, coming to VBS, or being served by one of our church ministries or service projects, does the encounter cause them to leave with a greater love for Christ?

Then we must take it a step further and ask, “What about the people that I come into contact with as an individual?” When people spend time with me, do they leave loving God more? Am I a good representative of Christ such that His loveliness flows through me? I don’t know about you, but my toes are hurting all of a sudden.

Was this some brand new concept that Paul Baloche stumbled onto? Does the Bible say anything about this? It should come as no surprise that it does. In 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, the Apostle Paul says, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”

Our lasting impression in all that we do should leave folks with the pleasant fragrance of God so that they love Him more because of what they see in His children.

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