A Heart for Worship
The band starts to play. As the worship leaders greet the audience, the church goers rise to their feet. It's time for worship at Younger Generation Church, the young adult service and ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Arlington, Texas.
This is my home church, and I know the drill. Our voices ring out, hands lift in adoration and praise fills the room. This is an intimate moment, shared with a community of believers. It isn't long before I see him. This moment wouldn't be complete without the presence of one of our steadfast members. His name is Chris Doss, and he has become the unofficial worship leader at Younger Generation (YG) church.
Chris is moved by the engaging music and the worship atmosphere at YG church. He rarely misses a service and on any given Saturday morning you can find him seated on the first pew. That is, if he isn't walking up and down the front row shaking hands and hugging his fellow church members. His worship is sincere, it is honest and it is pure.
I admire Chris and wonder how different my worship would be if I expressed myself with the same reckless abandon. Is there something I can learn from Chris's approach to worship? What would change if I regularly approached the throne of grace as wholeheartedly as he does, and encouraged those around me to get excited about God as he does?
Randy and Vickie Doss tell me their son loves going to church and he is the first one ready to go in the morning. The Doss family has been a part of the Arlington church for decades. "It was much smaller back then," Randy says. Yet, they have welcomed the growth of the church and its diversity of people and worship styles. "Even though it's a large church, there is still a family atmosphere. Small groups keep it intimate. We each have our Sabbath school classes that we prefer and Chris has YG," he affirms. "There is a lot of variety," Vickie adds. "Everybody's needs can be met in some way."
Chris' worship also manifests itself in his involvement at YG events. He is always eager to volunteer for special weekend conferences, concerts and social events. He is an excellent greeter and often helps the teams distribute books and other materials to the participants.
"Chris is the epitome of YG" says Allan Martin, YG church teaching pastor. I ask him about a tradition of theirs that I have witnessed. He laughs and says, “During the worship set, Chris makes it a point to come over and encourage me to sing along with him. Both of us are off key, but that really doesn’t matter. There are times the details of the program distract me, or I’m mulling over a part of my sermon, but I can always count on Chris to come over and give me a high-five, a hug, or a look that reminds me to join in worship. He inspires me to be present, engaging Jesus in worship.”
Why did Chris want to be baptized a year and a half ago? "Because Jesus loves me," he told Kevin Wells, Arlington church senior pastor. Vickie shares how Chris once asked to lead out in family worship. “What are you going to talk about?” she asked. "Jesus loves," he assured her. “And I love because Jesus loves.”
Jesus' love is at the heart of Chris' worship. And like Chris, I want Jesus' love to always be at the heart of my worship too.
By Kristina P. Busch. Busch is the Southwestern Union Associate Communication Director and Record Managing Editor. Busch lives in Arlington, Texas with her husband, Jason.