A Different Kind of Worship

Something I have become obsessed with in the past year or so is worship. I love taking photos during worship sessions because you can practically see God appearing on the faces of those in the room. His presence becomes almost tangible. But more than that, I view worship as a way to join together as a community and praise the One we love.

And it is so beautiful.

But to me, worship is more than just praise. Worship is handing yourself over to God and disconnecting from your earthly life, if only for a moment. It’s forgetting about that paper you have to write because God is bigger, and it gives me strength.

In fact, until recently all I ever did during worship was sing. I know you’re probably confused because “Jenna, isn’t worship usually just singing?” I thought that for a long time. Whenever I went to church or worshipped, I felt like I needed to be the best singer, the loudest singer, the one who worshipped the best. I would belt out words just to make myself feel better. All that ever did was make my voice hurt and detract from my time with God.

Then I tried something different.

I stopped singing. I do still sing, of course, and I do it a lot, but when I decide to be quiet during worship, that’s when something special happens. I usually sit down while everyone else is standing and let the music become background noise. I stop paying attention to the lyrics, stop hearing the melody, and I zone into God. Sometimes He doesn’t say much, but usually He’ll plant things in my head. Little things, things I didn’t think were important, but good things. Just recently he gave me the idea to read the bible with my dad on our upcoming hiking trip. It blew my mind that God could speak to me when the entire room was practically screaming with joy.

I think God uses worship to talk to us just as much as we use it to talk to Him. And I think sometimes people assume that because other people are singing or standing, we can’t do something different.

Just recently, the Belmont Delight held it’s monthly worship night. It was similar to many worship nights I’ve been too, except for one section. The leaders told the group to sing whatever we wanted. There were always some instruments playing a chord progression in the background, but the voices were all saying and singing different things. To hear at least twenty people doing something different was breathtaking. It no longer became about getting the words right or sounding the best; it was about communicating with our God.

This is me telling you it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to sit down during worship. It’s okay to close your eyes, to ignore the lyrics, to be still. But it’s also okay to belt your heart out. It’s okay to sing until you can’t sing anymore. It’s even okay to make your own worship songs and sing your own words. There is no wrong way to worship, and any kind of worship is good worship. God loves you whether you sing or not.

Twitter: @jennaclarek // Instagram: @jennaclarek

My name is Jenna. I spend about nine months of my year in the lovely city of Nashville and the other three in my little hometown in northwest Indiana. I’m passionate about books, photography, Taylor Swift, and Jesus. And food. Always food. If you want to know about my faith, I attribute a number of my beliefs to the genius that is C.S. Lewis. (Read The Great Divorce and Mere Christianity.) And so far I’ve spent most of my college career searching for God in the little moments. I love taking photos of worship sessions, and in my free time I run a semi-successful YouTube channel where I talk about books.