On 28th November, Ryan arranged babysitters for us and we drove down to HTB London for the 1630 Service with Darlene Zschech (who even though I don’t know her I will from now on refer to her as Darlene). I have followed her on twitter for some time and her life is inspirational as a Mum, Grandma, Friend, Pastor and Worship Leader – I assumed she would love life – she really does Joy is her signature. Imagine if that would be true of my life too
The worship was truly beautiful, hearts across the building were worshipping, we were invited to praise, to love and to lean in towards the One who is worthy of it all. I loved it – I loved how my heart could worship in the atmosphere; a place with a rich heritage of worship.
During the interview; by Nicky Gumbel (who I now also follow on twitter – you will have heard of him – Alpha, The Marriage course and so much more! I heard about him more this summer when Mike P (Soul Survivor) was talking about faithful leaders and named Nicky as an excellent example of one of them).
I did not transcribe the interview, I just took notes – like I do in most services I am in, as I was deeply impacted by her life I wanted to make sure I could refer to it again. I know by reading this you will be inspired, blessed and you too will want to know how your life can be more joyful and give honour to God. Words in italics are my additions.
In answer to a ‘top tip” for those in HTB, Darlene answered: Serve the Lord with gladness. In everything you do. Not in a cheesy ‘do it with a smile’ but deep inner joy. Throughout the evening, she reinforced the scripture that His Joy is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10 for the joy of the Lord is your strength! (NLT)
She explained that this joy and the notion of serving with gladness is woven through the Bible.
Isn’t that amazing? How easy is it for us to serve without gladness – you know, to do the housework, or prepare dinner and for it to really be a chore. Rather we should see it a delight to serve those around us. And surely that joy will be infectious to those around us – I know it is impossible for my children to resist a good laugh or to be in with a joke they may not fully understand. Rather that joy be infectious in our home than sadness.
Often, Darlene refers to ‘drawing near or leaning into Him’. She explained this based on
James 4:8 he WILL draw near.
For the Lord will never disappoint. Lean in to Him, for the Father delights to be with us!
Nicky asked Darlene: How to be a follower? She answered that to be a follower is to give your all, she then desribed her journey from salvation as a teen, moving to Hillsongs Sydney and then the journey to become a Worship Leader.
Her pastor encouraged her, pushed her and she described Brian Houston as a good leader who sees in you what you don’t see in yourself. He saw the gift of worship in Darlene’s life and even though she didn’t see it herself was willing to see that gift brought to life.
When talking about the ‘Heart of worship’, she demonstrated that is was not just within the music; but our response in encountering the creator. To worship which is to serve, to kiss towards, our(imperfect) lives poured out as an offering.
To worship ‘In spirit and in truth’:
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. John 4:23
She asked everyone a question: What does that look like? Answering it is having permission to be all he created us to be.
Mentoring. A Holy Spirit inspired type of mentoring – she was challenged to replace yourself 10 times, quickly.
Darlene was aware that a traditional model of mentoring is to get permission from say a leader to do things they would like of you; but she felt that people needed to be discipled and given to permission to be themselves, to be raised up and released rather than have a bottle neck of many awaiting permission: where you instead of becoming a mentor stiffle creativity and ideas as they must fit the original mould as opposed to the new thing.
(We bought the book, it is hiding somewhere as Ryan thought it would be a great gift for me for Christmas/Birthday. I hope it’s for my birthday as that’s 2 days before Christmas so a little sooner! I will imagine that I will write about the gems of truth as soon as I am given the book!)
The next part of the Q and A’s spoke so clearly into my life right now. Here I am, raising a beautiful family, loving the friends God has given to me, writing blogs and devotionals, preaching the occasional sermon, seeking to find Joy. I am fully content with my season and at the same time knowing that there is more, but not yet!
She reminded us not to despise the day of small beginnings. That the gold is in the journey. Use what God puts in your hands today. Watch him work the miraculous over your life. Use what he has entrusted to you – the good gifts and a time to grow in the journey and in our faith. To truly do what God has put in you. Use what’s in your heart and trust him to put it in your hand.
Worship and Justice are intwined for Darlene and she details a heart response to worship: Truthful worship in song. When we encounter a living God our response is right, we may kneel, weep, fall, fast or feast. Meanings of the word: to serve.
Often our first response when we are saved is: what can I do to serve? After time, we lose this.
Through music and song: Worship is therefore a vehicle for human heart to express to God. A way that our human heart can experience the divine. In a quote from Mother Teresa: You’ll never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have got.
So, whether worship is worship for you is up to you. You decide to worship.
remember the times you’ve been to Church and not ‘felt’ like worshipping? Or the band wasn’t quite ‘right’ or the song choice was ‘poor’ or ‘I could have done better’. Ahhhh. Yes I have had all of those thoughts. Admittedly, but not recently. Worship is my gift to God and when I have the chance I want to do it as fully and with my whole heart as much as I can – and even though more often than not in worship at Church: I will be carrying little Ben or sorting out some crayons for Beth or rescuing a flag from disturbing the person next to me. Worship in my heart, in my home is beautiful. I am alone, there are no distractions and I can feel His Presence – for me it is not then about the band, the song choice it is only about my will: Will I worship or will I do something else?
Darlene referred to the ‘blanket of sadness’ laid over the world by the enemy. This is shown by the statistics that more money is spent on anti depression pills than the money spent on overseas aid. Sadness stops you from giving.
And not just financially. It is hard to give life if you are overcome by a blanket of sadness. It is hard to rejoice in another if you are slumped by sadness.
She suggests that by walking with joy puts people at ease.
In closing, Darlene gave some glorious gems which I list below:
- The ‘genius’ serve with humility.
- Thank God for where he has put you today.
- Dream really big.
- Thank Him all the way.
- Keep praising even of it looks like all hell is breaking loose all over the world.
- Choose to lead and to serve.
- Lay down your life to serve.
- Trust God with your future.
- You have been placed on earth on purpose, entrusted with these days.
- Trust God and do well with what He has put in your hands.
Can you tell why I was so inspired listening to her? Her life is full of Joy, she knows what it is to give, and to life a full life. Thank you for sharing your precious heart. Love a xox