Designing Worship

This poem came because I was working on a slam poem and I had the form and the rhythm that I wanted to use, but I didn’t have anything to say. So I came up with the opening line to this. It was after I wrote it and was thinking of a title that the idea of worship came to play. The original title was “Preparing to Preach” and I may in the end like that one better.


I don’t have words yet,

But I know how I’m gonna say it when I have them

I have the form ready

Just waiting for the inspiration

Just waiting for something important to say

Like a 16 year old rebel

I spit out lots of words

Without saying anything.

Like the teenage revolutionary

I am ready to stand up and fight for…


…for whatever there is to fight for

I have the desire but not the knowledge

I have the passion but not the heart

I know that I will shout some

And spend some time whispering too

And speaking in that way that makes everyone think I’m serious

I will stand tall on the truth

And not back down from people who want to

Put me down

Hold me down

Push me down

From people who want to

Take my voice

Hide my words

Steal my message

Whatever that message happens to be.

I don’t know what I want to say

But I know how I want to say it.



I know the rest of you youth guys out there spend all of your time working on the deep theological side of ministry. You spend weeks at a retreat listening to the voice of God as he explains to you which part of the Bible you will unfold on each Wednesday of the entire year. I know you guys are like that, but many times I am not.

More times than I would like to admit I have a cool idea for worship or a “great illustration” for the youth and I find a message to fit the method. More times that I would like to admit I have the form laid out before I even open up the Bible. Now this isn’t all of the time, but sometimes when we are so desperately trying to find new ways to present the message, when we are striving to find new ways to make the message alive to people, we make the message fit the form and not the other way around. Too often I have great new ideas, but I forget that the idea of redemption started even before The Fall and that the worship of God is even older than that.

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