Natalie leads the worship and missions departments at AU Chi Alpha and is passionate about taking students deeper in their relationship and love for Jesus. She loves writing music, John Steinbeck, good coffee, and her family.
I’ve been thinking about worship a lot lately. About what it is and why I do it, about why I want students to do it, about where music fits into it, about how the Psalmists did it.
This past school year, I’ve been praying for ways to go deeper in worship, to stretch myself and understand how to praise God more fully.
I’ve been praying about how to use our creativity and talents to worship more.
And I’ve been praying for opportunities to push students deeper into worship - that it’s not only a thing we do before and after services, but that it’s a lifestyle.
The more I think about it, the more I’m coming to understand that worship is just an overflow of what’s in our hearts. The way we worship reflects how we feel about God and what we believe and know to be true about Him.
When know and understand the Lord, we should be bursting at the seams in reverence to Him. And worship is our way of showing that and placing ourselves in environments where we learn and know God more fully.
My pastor talks about the idea of “Christian Karaoke” when we worship through song. It’s so easy for worship to become three songs we sing at church by watching the screen and reading the words that we see but not letting those lyrics penetrate our souls. We’re often not singing them out of the overflow of our hearts; we’re stuck in a routine that has become meaningless.
But I think creativity and music can break down walls. I think worship is our greatest way to connect with the Father, whatever form it’s in. So my prayer is that we don’t become familiar with it in a way that makes it meaningless.
My prayer is that our familiarity with it is a product of our love and praise to God, and that it becomes more than singing songs on a Thursday night at Chi Alpha. It should be a lifestyle. When we’re living a lifestyle of worship, our hearts are overflowing with praise, and that should be reflected in every part of our lives, if we’re doing it right. People will notice it, and it has the power to break down walls and reach to others, defeating the work of the enemy and giving God victory.
In 2 Chronicles 20, we read about Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, going to war with Moab and Ammon. In verse 21, it says this: “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever.’” When the people of Judah began to sing and praise and entered the battle with worship, the Lord defeated the Moabites and Ammonites. When we enter the battle with worship, we’re giving God the victory.
I believe we are doing the same by teaching students to live a lifestyle of worship. When praise is a habit, they have the power to break down barriers in their own lives, and also in the lives of people around them - classmates, professors, employers.
How amazing would it be if college students, who hold the fate of the future in their hands and will have an impact in every influential field and career path, were overflowing with praise and brought that to wherever they go? I think we’d be dealing with a force to be reckoned with.
When we teach students how to worship and push the boundaries that we’re used to and go deeper, we’re showing the world how good God is.
Our hearts will overflow in reverence to Him, and the world will see and feel the knowledge we have. And I think they’ll want in.