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My Top 5 Corporate Worship Experiences

By August 12, 2011God, Jesus

This is a hard post to write, because I typically don’t do “favorites”, but I’ve thought a lot recently about worship. That always floods my mind with memories of corporate worship highlights in my life…or favorite worship moments. I have had many. To me, worship is when God fills me with Himself. It’s when God has all of me and all I want is all of Him. That doesn’t have to happen in a church service…and often doesn’t for me…which is why I titled this “top 5 corporate worship moments“. I do believe, however, that there is something special about worshiping with other like-minded believers. (In fact, I would contend we are commanded to do so regularly.)

Of course, any time of worship is an incredible time. The fact that a holy God would choose to allow me into His presence should bring me to my knees constantly in worship. Honestly, however, there are times I’m just going through the motions of “worship”.

Here are my top 5 corporate worship experiences:

Los Angeles – It had been a long week at a business conference, and truthfully a very non-spiritual week. I was so busy that all week I read one chapter…Psalm 150. As is our custom, we went looking for a church on Sunday morning. I thought I had found a California mega-church online, but, after getting lost several times and nearly missing the service, we arrived to find out it was a very small church. There were less than 100 people and we were very obvious visitors. We decided to visit in spite of my introversion and on the marquis, permanently inscribed was a single verse: Let everything that have breath praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6. It turned out to be one of the most meaningful times of worship in my life.

Brooklyn Tabernacle Church – Cheryl and I were there for a Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir experience. I had heard people talk about this, and usually if I’m anticipating something it isn’t as likely to happen for me, but it did. I felt God’s presence like never before. I can still capture the memories of that moment today.

Brazil – I was about to speak via a translator for the very first time. Prior to stepping on stage, we were led in almost an hour-long time of worship, although it seemed like only a few minutes. Hearing Portuguese and English together proclaiming the goodness of the same God humbled me to tears.

Promise Keepers – I went to many Promise Keepers events, and they were all good, but on this particular occasion my boys went with me. They were probably both pre-teens at the time and at this conference, not only did I worship, but I got to witness, for the first time, my two boys worship. It was indescribable!

Passion Conference – I had gone with our college team, but for this session I slipped away by myself. I was alone in a crowded room…if you’ve ever been there. I knew no one around me and for 30 minutes, I gave God everything in my heart. I’ll never forget the jubilation. (I don’t get to use that word very much…but it seems appropriate here!)

Some may wonder, why didn’t you name your own church? Well, that’s a great question. I’m a very strategic-minded person, so on Sundays, to be candid, it’s more work that it is worship. Still, I’ve had some amazing times of worship at our church…especially backstage, which is why it didn’t make the list here.

I’d love to hear from you.

Tell me one (or 5) of your top worship moments.

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Bryan Ruffin

    While in college, I was part of a choir that traveled around a bit. On one such trip, we decided to take a detour on the way home that took us to the Thorn Crown Chapel in Eureka Springs, AR. The chapel itself is in a wonderful setting off the main road, back into the woods a bit. When we arrived there weren’t many there, but there was a solemn feeling, as though we had walked in on something, but no one was doing anything, just sitting. At one point, someone stood up and started to sing. It wasn’t a long song, nor was his voice all that great, but the Holy Spirit made up for what he didn’t have! I don’t even remember the song, I just remember being so moved by his presentation; he sang from the heart and all I, and several others, knew to do was to simply kneel in prayer. His presence was so real, I almost felt as though I could reach out and touch Him!

  • In 2008, my wife and I had a chance to visit with her aunt, who'd been teaching in Indonesia for 34 years and was about to retire. On a Sunday morning we attended a service at the GKE church in Jogjakarta, and even though the guest preacher was from Australia every word of the service was in Indonesian. I was reminded of Tom Oden's story in his book "Requiem" about worshiping one afternoon at a Chinese church in NYC and the question of how does one worship when you don't know the words?

    I did know a few words, like "Tuhan" for Lord, but other than that it was a wonderful exercise in trying to discover authentic worship of God with none of the familiar trappings.

  • Bill Gallagher says:

    Catalyst a few years ago. Craig Groeshel had jsut finished his session. It was an amazing talk that ended with people praying in circles all over the auditorium. The band kept playing. You could feel Gods presence in that place. I did not want to leave!

  • My life was changed in a corporate worship service. It really was my "calling" that influences what I do now. I can remember the Sunday evening service when I was 12 years old, encountering the presence of God for the first time. Simply amazing.

  • Jon says:

    Mine was one Sunday when I was running sound. I've run sound at the church for over 20 years and I think I do a pretty good job; not sure you'd pay me to produce your next album, but still…

    We also have a great set of musicians which makes mixing sound fun and very fulfilling. But this one Sunday, I don't know it it was just the mix of songs they had chosen or I was just really on that weekend, but the whole worship service just seemed so charged and we even had one gentleman in the front of the church go to his knees at one point; something that I have never seen before. The whole thing was just so Spirit filled and gave God great praise.

  • Chris says:

    My top experience is easy. Shortly after FINALLY submitting to God and a call to ministry, one of the first things I did was have an opportunity to go on our annual Middle School weekend retreat. I was blessed to go as "staff" for the first time. In fact, it might have been the year we had Michael Bayne as our speaker.

    Anyways, I got to be there as staff and on Saturday I stood in the back and just soaked it in. Watching Students worship with everything they had, helped confirm and solidify my call. Brought me to tears.