We just wrapped up the March/April issue of Worship Leader. Every time a magazine gets sent off to the presses there are always the feelings of relief, exhaustion, surprise, and also utter amazement. There are times when it feels like it's can't all possibly get done in time. But, time after time, God moves, we follow, the pieces fall into place one by one, and it in the end there is a finished product. One that we hope and pray God will use to transform the lives and mission of worship leaders around the world, who will engage with God and lead their congregations in authentic worship with our heavenly Father, and among each other. This is Vertical Horizontal Worship - the focus and theme of the March/April worship.
Vertical Horizontal Worship - you may be asking yourself "what does that even mean?" Well, in one of our featured articles by Tim Sheppard, he explains in the first paragraph,
We are called to connect with God and to connect with people as we lead worship. The very title “worship leader” emphasizes both the vertical and horizontal dynamics of our role. We worship (vertically connect with God), and we also lead (horizontally connect with the congregation).
I think sometimes we think of worship as a private experience with God. Which it is, but we often forget it's also about our brothers and sisters around us. Worship is also a celebration of believers coming together as one body to worship our God together, and to serve and love one another outside of the musical portion of church.
Sheppard also says, "We are called as believers to build bridges by creating intersections for people to collide with God." Collide with God. Wow.
So now that we understand what vertical horizontal worship is, I wanted to share a different article that focuses on understanding worship as a creative lifestyle, which spoke a bit more to me since I'm no worship leader nor having any musical talent whatsoever.
This article written by songwriter and visual artist, Douglas Mann, talks about living with intention and says,
We know and understand that we’re created in God’s image, but do we really believe that we are? What does that look like in each of our lives, and how does that play out and move forward? Implicitly, God is a creator, not a duplicator. So as our heavenly Father’s children, wonderfully made in his image, why would we not model this in our own lives by living an intentional yet creative lifestyle, which can’t be judged in a short time frame but rather becomes apparent over seasons of time?
I just really loved this - the reminder to live our lives with the true understanding and belief that we are created in God's image and to live out a creative lifestyle full of beauty, wonder, and awe. To live inspired and find joy and hope in all things and do it all with thankful hearts.
So, here's just a quick reminder to live fully. Appreciate God's blessings and beauty. Love one another and create like you are created in God's image!
About the cover: The above image is the cover for the March/April issue. We thought it represented, as the verse says, the united body of Christ worshiping horizontally with one another, but also reaching vertically to God. The cross is also another strong symbol of vertical horizontal worship so we wanted to illustrate that with the typography.