This is something we are super passionate about in Planetshakers, and something that Ps Russell and Sam Evans are always teaching and showing us. It’s something they have carried to a generation. I can honestly say, that it was as a young person going to Planetshakers Conferences, that I personally learned the power of praise. In our church, praise is explosive, fun and sometimes a little bit crazy, and we’re never going to tone it down because that’s exactly what we think it should be! Now in planetboom, we want to carry that again to the next generation. The music that is coming out of our youth ministry is their expression of praise. The style might be different, but the Spirit behind it is the same.
What’s crazy is that sometimes the world is better at ‘praise’ than we are in church! They’re not afraid to celebrate the things they’re passionate about — that’s for sure. They’ve taken all the actions associated with praise, but made it about something other than God. When people stand on their feet and scream for literally hours at a concert, no one calls it ‘hype’. They call it ‘normal, fun, amazing and a great experience’. When people chant and jump up and down with people they don’t even know at a sporting match, no one calls that ‘hype’ there either. They call it a ‘vibe’. It’s just part of it.
But when we do those very same things in response to God, people call it ‘hype’ or ‘weird’ or an ‘overreaction’?? Are you kidding me? You have never met that singer, they haven’t changed your life, and they don’t even know who you are—you just like their music so you go crazy. But we praise a God who HAS changed our lives, DOES know us and who IS so amazing, so we have WAY more reason to shout than anyone at any concert! When you know who your God is and what He’s done for you, you’ll understand that shouting and clapping and dancing is not an over-the-top reaction. Praise is 100% normal. It’s not just for young people, it’s not just for crazy people and it’s not just for ‘out-there’, loud kind of people. It’s for people who know God! When you REALLY know Him, how can you not praise?! Praise is powerful. Praise is where people get free. God loves our praise and loves moving in the middle of us praising Him. And we better get used to it because praise is what Heaven is going to be all about!
WHAT PRAISE IS
What is praise? Well, the Oxford Dictionary says that ‘praise’ means:
- To express warm approval or admiration of
- Express one’s respect or gratitude towards (a deity), especially in song.
(English Oxford Living Dictionaries, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/praise)
Yeah, I guess so. I guess that’s what we’re doing. In praise, I am definitely expressing my respect, gratitude and admiration of who God is, But it’s also definitely more than that.
The Bible has A LOT to say about praise, and it uses a lot of different words to go with it. Things like:
- Magnify (Psalm 34:3, KJV)
- Glorify (Psalm 147:12)
- Exalt (Psalm 34:3)
- Bless (Psalm 145:21)
- Honour (Psalm 29:1)
- Sing (Psalm 30:12)
- Speak (Psalm 34:1)
- Sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15)
- Confess (Philippians 2:9-11, NKJV)
- Shout (Psalm 47:1)
- Clap your hands (Psalm 47:1)
- Dance (Psalm 150:4)
- Play music (Psalm 150)
- Boast about (Psalm 34:2)
- Give thanks (Psalm 107:1)
- Declare (Philippians 2:11)
- Have joy (Psalm 98:4)
- Rejoice (Philippians 4:4)
- Be glad (Psalm 32:11)
- … and many more!
So, praise is something that comes from our hearts, but is expressed as an action. Most of those words are things we do, not just things we think about. So, if praise is an action, not just a feeling, then praise is something I can deliberately decide to do. Praise is when we decide to focus on God and express our joy in response to who He is. Praise is the natural and right response to God. It might sound like music, it might look like dancing or it might be clapping our hands and shouting. The style is not so important. What’s important is that it is what God deserves ¬— an accurate reflection of how good He is. Have you ever won a game and then given it the fist-pump and pulled out that victory dance that you do? You didn’t care how it looked. It was a reaction that came out. Praise should be a reaction to God that comes out, and you shouldn’t care how it looks either!
MADE FOR PRAISE
Do you remember your first job? Or maybe you’re too young to even have one yet? I was a paperboy. Got up at 5:30 am and rode around on my bike and threw newspapers on people’s front lawns. Actually, to be honest, ya boy was good at his job. Most of the papers went on the front doorsteps, which paid off at Christmas time when the old people would tip me nicely.
The thing is — that actually wasn’t my first job. And whatever you did wasn’t yours either. Before you were doing that, you already had a ‘vocation.’ Our original and ultimate job in life is to be praisers! Yep. It’s your calling in life. Long after you get hired and long after you retire from anything you do on earth — praising is the role you’re gonna hold down for all eternity! The Bible says that God made His people for Himself so that they would praise Him (Isaiah 43:21) and that as the church, we exist for the praise of His grace (Ephesians 1:6). When you’re holding down a job — you don’t just not turn up. That’d be unreliable, and soon enough they’d start handing your shifts to someone else. Listen — If we don’t do our job, Jesus said that even rocks on the ground will cry out! (Luke 19:40) In other words, He doesn’t need our praise, all of Heaven and Earth breaks out in praise to God. But, you and I get the role of leading it! The job has your name on it — so let’s put in some work.
When you see someone do what they were made to do, it just works right? It almost looks effortless. Dolphins were made to swim in the sea, eagles were made to fly in the sky, and you are I were made to praise. It just feels right when we do! Imagine what would happen if the next generation understood that we exist to praise!
To continue reading, Jesus Over Everything is available at your favorite bookstore and digital retailers now.
ABOUT PLANETBOOM MUSIC
Planetshakers music and touring send multiple teams across the globe, ministering in over 40 nations, reaching more than 400,000 people annually. ‘planetboom’ exists as part of this, and embodies the next generation of Planetshakers music. Birthed out of the youth ministry, ‘planetboom’ are passionate about encountering God and seeking His presence. Comprised of young musicians, songwriters and vocalists, the team lead thousands of teenagers in breakthrough praise and worship every week. Relentless in their pursuit of God, they seek to change the culture around them through a new sound of praise and worship that is both relevant and powerful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ANDY HARRISON is a youth pastor, drummer and songwriter serving under Ps Russell & Sam Evans and the Planetshakers ministry. He and his wife, Susannah, lead ‘planetboom,’ the youth ministry of Planetshakers Church, and are passionate about seeing teenager’s lives transformed by the power and presence of God. Under their leadership, planetboom has grown into a thriving, multicultural ministry, caring for over 4,000 teenagers, and having a significant impact on youth culture in their city. Andy is an influential and effective communicator; his heart for worship and his desire to see people encounter God is contagious and will inspire others to hunger after God in a new way. He is also a songwriter and drummer for the Planetshakers Band, and travels the world bringing a fresh and powerful sound of praise and worship.
© 2019 Planetshakers Ministries Inc.
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