Christianity 201

September 30, 2010

Level Ground – Brian Doerksen Live Worship Experience

We spent the late morning and early afternoon viewing a two-hour worship video event from Brian Doerksen.    He is best known for songs such as, Refiner’s Fire, Come Now is the Time to Worship, You Shine, Today (As For Me and My House), Light the Fire Again; and many, many more.  I’m a huge fan of his Today DVD, and was not disappointed by his newest take on producing a worship video.

You know the criteria for good worship DVDs right?   Great worship songs.   A tight band.   Memorable song introductions.    Good camera shots of the audience and worship team.

Forget all that.   On Level Ground – The Live Experience, Brian focuses on the idea of intimacy in worship.   He brings together a much smaller group of people to a barn located on a B.C. nut farm.   These are people he and the worship band are doing life with, and as it turns out, he introduces about a dozen of them and allows them to tell their salvation story, or as he puts it, their “grace stories.”

Suddenly, Brian’s friends are your friends.    You can worship along with people you know, as the smaller crowd means recurrent crowd shots of the same individuals.

Ooops!  Let me qualify what I mean by “crowd shots.”   There is no crowd.  No audience.   The band is placed on the floor of the barn interspersed among the worshipers.   No musicians are on a stage or platform.    The title song reminds us of the saying that “the ground is level at the foot of the cross;” and the arrangement of the musicians on all fifteen songs stands as a reminder, a reinforcement of this principle.

Welcome to the place of level ground
Welcome to the place where grace abounds
We all need mercy
We all need mercy
Welcome to the place where none can boast
Welcome to the place compassion flows
We all need mercy
We all need mercy

This particular DVD is available in the U.S. through Integrity Music.

Sometimes we approach the worship time in our churches with grand expectations or preconceived ideas as to how that time should play out.   Perhaps there are other contexts in which worship might take place.   For years I’ve wrestled with all the implications of John 4:24 —

For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. (NLT)

God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.  (The Message)

I don’t pretend to fully understand all the possible implications of ‘worship in spirit and in truth,’ but I know that heaven will reveal worship as we’ve never imagined.

Read a review of Brian’s book on the subject of worship, Make Love, Make War here.

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