Wednesday, 6 August 2008

5 sermons that changed my life NUMBER 2

Mike Pilavachi - "Doing the Stuff" Conference - April 2000 - Vineyard UK

This conference was the best I have ever been to. The Album is the best live album I have ever heard, bar none. Their live version of "I lift my eyes up" should be my favourite ever worship song, but I can only say should be because despite it being unconventional nothing can touch Kevin Prosch's "Love is all you need" found on Tumbling Ground by the Black Peppercorns.

But anyway, back to the conference, the main speakers were first class, as can be seen in NUMBER 4 and NUMBER 2 in this series being from the same event.

I had been to the Soul Survivor summer camp 4 or 5 times as a teenager and was greatly blessed by watching Matt Redman and later people like Tim Hughes open up a whole new sphere of christian worship music. Songs like "Heart of worship" just captured a moment in the development of my relationship with God.

But by the time I heard Mike speak at this conference I was 20, doing a university placement year in Nottingham and was a little bit past the whole Soul Survivor thing so did not know what to expect.

He spoke on 1 Samuel 2:12-36 and it was all about what happens when people get their focus wrong in worship. When it becomes about "me" or "my needs" rather than our offering to God. When we hold back something of the offering to ourselves, rather than give Him everything of ourselves.

I believe he has since taken this whole theme and preached on it extensively and even written a book relating to it. But this was no book or journal, this was a man with a passionate jealousy for the name of his Saviour giving a defence of the glory of his Lord.

It is about Jesus. It starts with Jesus. It comes from Jesus. It goes to Jesus. We meet Jesus somewhere in it and all the glory goes to Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus and a bit more Jesus. You can only concentrate on Him too little, never too much.

"I didn't get a lot our of the worship today" is a shameful statement because it does not honour yourself, your worship, or your God. It is not for you, it is for Him. It is not about whether it is pleasing to you, it is about whether it is pleasing to Him. Who says "I did not get a lot of giving my Father a present today?" The worth is in the Father, the worth is in the gesture, the worth is in the gift, not in whether it made us feel good or not.

The statement identifies a wrong attitude that robs God of the glory and the worship and the honour He is due. It becomes a consumer goal to get a buzz, not a priviledge to declare the goodness of our King.

A quote from his talk can be found on the live CD in between two tracks. The pertinent statement is made: "He is the center of worship, and how dare we ever make us the center of worship"

That cemented a deep seated conviction I hold regarding worship - the desire to add my voice to the honour and glory given to Jesus. Every time I listen to that CD and hear Mike's words it is such an emotional moment - as God is calling His church back into selfless and pure worship of him, and I believe much of the evident blessing of God upon the whole Soul Survivor movement has been their radical, uncomplicated, biblically based, passionate worship of Jesus.


Peter Kirk said...

Do you get "past the whole Soul Survivor thing"? I'm not sure you should do. I haven't, despite being older than Mike himself, and wish I was going again this year. Just one small difficulty - my old bones don't like sitting on the ground!

And another thing: the reaction last year, as to a superstar, when Matt Redman walked on to the stage showed that most of the teens had not yet got the Soul Survivor point about "radical, uncomplicated, biblically based, passionate worship of Jesus".

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

Good question. My expression "past the whole Soul Survivor thing" was deliberately a little flippant, as in my arrogance in thinking "I have been there several times, is there going to be anything new."

And also reference to Soul Survivor's target audience, which is evidently teenagers, with seminars on dating and skate parks and stuff like that.

I terms of the whole "Soul Survivor thing" about worshipping God, being taught from scripture and being empowered to live as witnesses - never too old! But I guess that is why people go to New WIne!!!

The teenagers may have reacted in a certain way, but I would suggest that I have never seen Matt Redman do anything to incite such a reaction, in fact the opposite is true. Like when he was playing second guitar to a 19 year old Simon Brading at Newday in 2005. The man exudes total humility and points people to Jesus.

dave bish said...

I've only ever heard Mike Pilavachi preach once, at an Alpha conference in 2003, and that was excellent.

"Like when he was playing second guitar to a 19 year old Simon Brading at Newday in 2005. The man exudes total humility and points people to Jesus."

More of that sort of thing across the church would do us all good!

Peter Kirk said...

Indeed, Matt did nothing to encourage the reaction. He is clearly a remarkably humble man.

Yes, there were seminars for teens last year but also plenty to keep me interested. Perhaps I should go to New Wine instead, but somehow I have never fancied it.