Missing An Arrow…

November 23, 2010

Today I had a rekindling in my heart. I picked up a book I read 7 years ago, and begged a good friend of mine to read it. He shrugged it off because he “isn’t much of a reader”, and I found myself angry, wanting to defend this book with my entire heart.

Why defend?

This book represents so many wonderful things to me.

It was given to me by one of my best friends and mentor, Nathan.

I read it, and it changed everything about how I viewed God and the world around me.

I lent this book out

I bought copies to give to friends

I told everyone and anyone about this thing

And then today I picked it up, and realized the journey it had taken me on…

(Yes, I wish I could tell you that this book was the Bible, but it is not…sorry to disappoint.)

The book I am talking about is An Arrow Pointing To Heaven: The Biography of Rich Mullins

And before Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, and all the rest…there was this odd fellow by the name of Rich Mullins

You may know about him from some songs he wrote, but I doubt you would actually know him by just hearing Awesome God a couple times.

Rich was different

He cared more about an honest relationship with the creator of the universe, than he did about his relationship with record companies.

His desire was never to become famous, as much as it was to bring fame to Jesus.

He told odd stories, spoke of his heritage, and realized his own foolishness and brokenness often.

He valued the actual scriptures more than the “famous” faces that preached them…

(He never trusted preachers anyway.)

He didn’t dress in nice clothes, and wore a pony tail… and once he told his record label off after the insisted that he lose weight and write songs with more pop in them so that he may become more successful.

He had a love for native americans

And above all he had a love for music.

I could tell you stories that I have either read about, or heard from guys who met him while he was still alive, but I want you to read the book, and I think you get the point.

I miss this guy.


Because I believe we are missing an arrow.

In an age where worship music has become about style and performance, and less about community and God’s presence

I get scared.

I fear there is more energy in what to wear, what product to use, what to say, how to look, what songs to sing…than there is in the energy spent in prayer.

I feel like there is more talking to God on the stage, than off the stage.

There is more confidence in our abilities, and less in His spirit moving.

And I think in the end, we will experience a show instead of the living God.

We will sell out to lights and wonderful transitions…we will play the piano or guitar behind our words to manipulate attention.

And we will forget that God is not just a muse to inspire songs…

But a King to serve,

A Rescuer to thank,

And a Creator to be praised.

I think the one thing Rich Mullins knew better than most worship leaders realize today is this:

It isn’t about me.

Worship will happen without me.

God just allows me the humble task of joining in.

I have never witnessed a more powerful worship experience, than one of my last winter retreats as a student at the church I grew up in. My friend Nathan was leaving to go serve in Colorado, and it just so happened that his last weekend with the church was our winter retreat. Nathan was leading worship and so the entire group was just sad to know that after this weekend was over, Nathan was going to be gone.

Saturday night of worship Nathan did something I have never seen, nor can ever be replicated in a worship service again. He was leading worship and had the boldness to stop, to say that tonight was not about Him leaving, but about worshipping God. He walked off the stage with his entire band, and then the room went pitch black.

It was silent.

It was pitch black.

Then someone started singing, no instruments. no leaders. Just began a song that was familiar to everyone.

Words appeared on the screen, and we sang together.

When a song was finished, someone would start another song and so on.

It was pitch black, white words on the screen.

God was moving.

Without motion backgrounds

God was moving

Without drums, guitars, and designated worship leaders

God was moving

Don’t get me wrong, God is definitely big enough to move in smoke, lights, and instruments.

But there was something that night that changed the way I see worship …here was a group of people that loved Jesus and loved each other so much, that they cared less about how their voices sounded in the silence, and more about the fact that they were singing to their God.

Simply beautiful.

I don’t write this because I want to go back to that retreat and experience worship like that again

I don’t write to tell everyone what a bad job we are doing

I only write this because I believe that worship leaders are arrows.

And it is up to you to decide what you are going to point to.




One Response to “Missing An Arrow…”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jimmy Doyle, Alex Buchner. Alex Buchner said: New Blog Post: Misssing An Arrow http://bit.ly/dO3gIF […]

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