The Day I Learned Worship Wasn’t that Cool

At the beginning of last summer I stepped off a plane at the Stansted airport in England. It was my first visit to the UK, but it wasn’t like my other times in a new place. I didn’t have family and friends waiting or a squad to see or even a random contact to pick me up. In fact I didn’t know anyone in the entire UK much less the majority of Europe. I got on a train and went south trying to find a random field where I heard there was a worship festival happening.

blog davids tent

The worship festival (David’s Tent) on a random field in the middle of no where England that I was in search for. (Photo credit: Samantha Hill)

3 months later I stepped back on a plane leaving the UK having organized one of the craziest worship events England has seen. I networked with hundreds of worship leaders across the city and worshiped with people from over 40 countries for 30 days straight over the Olympics (my apologies to the UK customs agent lady whom I told I would only be spending only 10 days her country).

How did this happen? I still really don’t know.

Needless to say my time in the UK was unplanned and you learn a lot when something unplanned happens especially when unplanned things continue to happen for 3 months straight!

This last week we started planning for our first Burn here in Malaga and I started to think back about all the planning I did this last summer. It seems that one lesson I learned continues to return to mind when I think about the future of worship in my life and around the world. It was the day I learned worship wasn’t really as cool as I thought it was.

For awhile I was questioning the authenticity of the worship I had been a part of. Sometimes I would go to services or conferences and worship would almost seem like a drug hit. I would feel so close to God for a few hours or maybe even a day or so until I came off it. Even my personal times of worship seemed more like pitstops than a lifestyle, worship was more like the fuel to keep my car going than my actual vehicle I was riding in, and when I ran out I would just get more.

Let me explain….


One of the women on a worship team I worked with from Vanuatu…yes that is a real country.

So this summer one of my jobs was to fill up the 2 hour long worship slots (about 250 total) we had to fill in order to have nonstop worship. Sure, Friday nights were pretty easy, and even the 4-6am slots seemed to get taken, but I was a little concerned about the weekdays. 10pm Friday night with a room full of dancing people is a little different than 10am tuesday morning with one person alone on the keyboard and the next nearest person mopping the floor outside the sanctuary.

It really started to get me questioning some things especially when it came to how I placed value on worship. Let’s be honest, Tuesday morning just wasn’t as cool as Friday night. But why? Was it because there was less dancing, or because there weren’t as many sweet build ups and loud choruses? Does God like to show up when the ambiance is more fitting? I would like to say that these questions were just jokes, but I have found myself thinking them a time or two.

In the midst of everything God was revealing a new aspect of worship that I hadn’t thought to much of. Sacrifice. I mean I’ve used the phrase “sacrifice of worship” but it was more of a convenient time period. What kept us going for the Olympic Burn were faithful people who saw value in what we were doing enough to get up early before work and come do a worship set, or come after a long day to praise God.

Did they feel like it? …Probably not.

Was it fun? …Sometimes.

Did they walk away feeling rested and closer to God?…Usually, but not always.

Did any of these questions I just asked matter?…Not really.

Why? I guess simply because the main ingredient to good worship is a good God who shows up and loves it regardless of the feeling, benefits, outward success, fun, or any other way humans like to judge things. It’s an awesome truth that if we aren’t “feeling it” we get to sacrifice our emotions to God trusting that he is still just as pleased as when we are?

I’m pretty sure David didn’t dance in front of the ark to nakedness killing bulls along the way and setting up 24/7 worshipers because he always felt like it, he did it because he knew the value of sacrifice and what God delighted in. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that doing something when we don’t feel like it is hypocritical, when in reality the definition of hypocrisy is letting emotions or other outward circumstances change the way you are affected by Truths that should define your life.

(Sorry that was kind of wordy but I couldn’t find a simpler way to put it…and I legit just tried for like 30 mins.)

Now if you think I am implying that worship should always be a struggle or not fun because it is “sacrificial” then you don’t know me very well. I’m just saying that as I look at what is happening in Spain and in Europe I see that God is requiring more from us because he is trusting us with more. One of the reasons I am excited about starting a Burn here in the south of Spain is because God has been putting a holy dissatisfaction in a lot of hearts to see a movement when it comes to worship. A movement of more life, less event, more substance, less style, more freedom, less plans.

We will be having a worship conference this weekend with over 120 youth from all over Andalucia and I can’t wait to see them take worship to a new level. Pray that God lights a fire in every youth that continues to grow and become more sustainable so we can see our cities and country changed all because people are getting to know a God who looks deeper than what we can see and places value on everything we do whether we see it or not. What a great time to be alive!


13 thoughts on “The Day I Learned Worship Wasn’t that Cool

  1. “…in reality the definition of hypocrisy is letting emotions or other outward circumstances change the way you are affected by Truths that should define your life.” That was SO GOOD. Not too wordy. Just right. Thanks. 🙂

  2. First of all, I miss you bro. Burn was blessed the day you walked through the door. The integrity and character you walk in has always been an inspiration to me. I could probably keep writing about how much I look up to you, but I’ll save that for the day we get to catch up. Loved the blog.

  3. Yes Allan… Yes!!!

    I love your heart about David and how we miss hypocrisy that’s right in front of us.

    Actions speak. Everything else is conversation!!!

    Amen brother!!!

  4. Allan… God is requiring more from us because he is trusting us with more…. super spoke to me. Thanks for sharing, you have an incredible voice and I appreciate that you are always challenging the norm and trying to understand a deeper reason why we do what we do. It helps me to look at the same =) Thanks Brother! Miss you lots! Hope you’re loving Spain and all it’s adventures! Love you!

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