- Josh Anderson
Evening Gatherings at theHeart offer an intentionally intimate time with God while dwelling in community with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Mikayla Brown shares more about what it means to expand our understanding of worship beyond just the songs we sing together. And in doing so our hearts come to adore God even more.
So often we confine worship to simply singing. Although music is a wonderful part of worship, it does not fully encompass the whole concept of what worship truly is.
The music—beautiful and impactful as it may be—is only a small part of something much bigger.
Worship is a heart posture. It is our hands stretching out towards the Father, as He stands before us with arms already outstretched, ready to embrace us.
Beyond the Walls of Singing
This posture of intimacy with God is what inspired us to host a series of Evening Gatherings. We want this to be a time of extended worship that goes beyond just the music.
You're invited to sing, of course. And there's also freedom to stand, to sit, to smile, to cry, to pray, to journal, to soak. Whatever worship looks like for you, wherever you are, we want to gather together to sit with Father in His Glory.
As We Are. Where We Are.
I think it’s easy to walk into a Sunday morning corporate worship setting and feel like we have to have it all together. We might even feel an added pressure to sing in joy and with a smile on our face—even when everything we’re feeling is contrary to that.
Although there are many beautiful moments of joy-filled worship, I believe the Father’s heart for worship is for us to enter into this space as we are. God will never ask us to be where we are not, but rather He will simply love us where we are.
I am constantly comforted by the Psalms, where David and the other psalmists pour out their worship to the Lord in 150 chapters of joy, sorrow, pain, wrestling, praise, and hardship—but all conjoined together with adoration and love for God, and from God.
"It is the ultimate call of our hearts—we sing to Father, as He sings over us." —Mikayla Brown
Growing up in the church culture that I did, I constantly felt constrained during worship. I felt as though I had to stand up as straight as possible and present myself in my most put-together manner. No matter where I was at or what I was feeling, I was confined to the belief that I had to have it all together to enter into the act of worship.
What it Means to Truly Worship
But a few years ago, I went through a process of understanding the Father’s heart for worship in a whole new way. I was in one of the toughest seasons of my life, experiencing trauma, pain, sadness...and all I wanted to do when I entered into a worship space was fall on my knees and cry.
I never wanted to stop worshipping, rather I wanted to worship the Father from the authenticity and honesty of where my heart was. I realized how intimately He knows my heart and how much He truly wants to love me exactly where I am.
I’ve found comfort in knowing that I can worship within the joy, but also through the pain. There’s really no limitation or requirement when it comes to worship—I truly believe it’s in the nature and character of God to love us exactly where we are, whatever it looks like. The Passion Translation of Psalm 139 helps speaks to this truth:
Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
2 You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
5 You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me.
6 This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.
7 Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face?
8 If I go up to heaven, you’re there! If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!
9 If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there! If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting!
10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength will empower me. — Psalm 139:1-11, The Passion Translation
This revelation of truth absolutely rocked my world. Since then, I have experienced freedom to worship in ways I never dreamed of, with or without music.
And I invite you to come be with us as we worship Father at our next Evening Gathering.
More About the Evening Gathering
Have you ever explored worship beyond the songs we sing together on Sundays? Do you desire to fully immerse yourself in being with God? On a semi-regular basis, theHeart will find space in Boone where we can commit ourselves to one hour of extended worship and music. We call it an Evening Gathering. And we invite you to come as you are.
Our next Evening Gathering is Sunday, April 14 at Kudzu Music.
Doors open at 6pm.