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Creative Expressions of Worship w/ Lucy Santibanez-Enerio

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For the upcoming episodes of the GCPodcast, we’re shifting our focus from interviews to immersive spiritual practices. In this session, Lucy Santibanez Enerio leads us through creative worship practices. Join us as we foster personal and communal spiritual disciplines. May our journey in Christ’s ministry be deepened as we yield to his guiding presence.

“We can take our creative expressions and offer them as an act of worship. I invite you to consider the act of creating, or the expression of creativity, as a form of worship. Whether it’s through music, art, poetry, or other forms of expression, our creativity can be a meaningful way to connect with our Lord. It’s about offering our time, thoughts, skills, and our whole being as an act of worship.”
— Lucy Santibanez Enerio

 

 

Main Points:

  • Get to know Lucy and her passion for ministry through music. 00:56
  • How can worship manifest beyond the context of congregational gatherings? 06:24

 

Resources:

  • GCI Buzz, Spiritual Formation: This resource defines Spiritual Formation and show how it is comprised of various practices by which believers grow to become more and more like Christ.
  • Trinitarian Approach to Spiritual Formation: On this episode of You’re Included, Dr. Geordie Ziegler, pastor and author of Trinitarian Grace and Participation, discusses an approach to spiritual formation that does not start with us but places, at the center, God the Father’s relationship with the Eternal Son.

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Program Transcript


Creative Expressions of Worship w/ Lucy Santibanez-Enerio

Cara: Welcome to GC Podcast, a podcast to help you develop into the healthiest ministry leader you can be by sharing practical ministry experience. In this episode, we welcome Lucy Santibanez-Enerio, who will lead us through creative expressions of worship.

We invite you to co-create your own experiences of spiritual formation through personal and communal practices. We believe that through such personal and communal practices, we open ourselves and surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us.

May the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst grow us up into the healthiest participants in the ministry of Christ that we can be to the glory of the Father. Amen.


Lucy: Hello friends, my name is Lucy. I grew up in the Philippines, and I started being involved in the music ministry when I was 10 years old. One of my core memories in being transformed through worship is when at a young age, during Sunday service, we were singing the song, “Knowing You, Jesus.” And I looked around the fellowship hall of our local congregation, and I see all ages and all generations who were connecting to God, declaring that there is no other greater thing in life than getting to know their personal Savior.

Since then, I’ve always felt that I, and all people, are called to pursue God’s presence because there is peace in his presence, there is hope, joy, and rest in his presence. I found that God has a way of speaking to me personally through music. A few years down the road, I found myself being drawn to psychology for my undergraduate studies, and eventually I completed graduate degrees in music therapy.

But primarily, all I really wanted to do was worship God and see people join near to God in worship. So, through it all, I continue to be part of worship teams, and I currently serve as a volunteer worship leader and music team coordinator at GC Steele Creek in Charlotte, North Carolina, all by the grace of God, according to his plans.

Today, we will be exploring creative expressions of worship that extend beyond the familiar congregational worship gatherings to a more personal spiritual expression. So, whether you’re a seasoned worshipper or someone looking to deepen your connection with the Lord, we hope you are able to find meaning and resource from this experience.

Our theme for today’s practice is “Making Room to Encounter God in the Mundane.”

Like many of us, I am always in awe of sunrise and sunsets. One, because of the beauty and the mystery of the rising and the setting ball of energy millions of miles away from us interacting with our skies and setting off awe inspiring colors.

And two, in a way, this phenomenon that we often tend to overlook feels like God’s way of taking care of us, motivating us to wake up and also signaling us to take the rest that we need. Creation is reflecting the beauty of our Creator, and I can’t help but break into song about God’s goodness when I witness the beauty of his creation. Psalm 19, verse 1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

Human beings are made for worship. In the posture of worship, we fall into the arms of God and saying, “Have your way in me, Lord.” Disciplines of worship put us in a place to be receptive and responsive to the Holy Spirit’s movements and invitation. The discipline of worship focuses our attention on the beauty of the Trinity, the source of all that is good, true, and beautiful.

There are so many ways and forms of worship, more than we recognize in the ordinary moments of life. We worship when we come together in celebration of God’s goodness. We worship when we come to the foot of the cross to lament an expression of our grief.

We worship in our giving, in holy communion, in making meals for others, in making spaces livable and beautiful, and in so many forms – crafts, woodwork, poetry, visual arts, movement, music. After all, God is the ultimate artist, the creator of the heavens and the earth. he communicates through his creation and relates with his creation.

We come to him to worship individually and as a congregation. We worship in silence and solitude or in holy roars of praise.

The Bible tells us of how David actively pursued God’s presence in worship. In the book of Psalm and 1 and 2 Samuel, we learn about David’s raw expressions of praise to God amidst life’s highs and lows.

Whether it’s in periods of grief and anger or moments of shame, David cries out for forgiveness. In times of joy and excitement, David praises God by dancing and exuberant singing. In moments of need, David surrenders his human desire for control, and instead seeks and aligns himself with God’s heart. he teaches us to do the same.

David’s example shows us that worship isn’t about putting on a facade of perfection, but by being vulnerable and humbly turning our hearts towards God, regardless of our circumstances. Worship includes but does not have to be solely about emotion. It’s about recognizing God’s worthiness of praise, even when life feels chaotic or unfair.

Being able to worship and find hope is one of the many gifts that God has blessed us with. Regardless of our circumstance, God has given us the ability to come to him and rest in him. Worship is more than an event. It is the posture of our hearts.

So, we now recognize that worship isn’t confined to a specific style or practice. It’s a personal journey that is expressed both inward and outward.

In the next few minutes, we’ll explore how we can take our creative expressions and offer them as an act of worship. So today I invite you to consider the act of creating, or the expression of creativity, as a form of worship. Whether it’s through music, art, poetry, or other forms of expression, our creativity can be a meaningful way to connect with our Lord. It’s about offering our time, thoughts, skills, and our whole being as an act of worship.

I personally love to spend my time with the Lord through soft instrumental music, as I feel like it serves as a container of my experiences and sacred interactions with our Lord. It is a way for me to make room for God in our busy day-to-day lives, by finding pockets of time to be in tune with God and be transformed by his presence. This will be different for everyone, and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be complicated or long-winded, but it is personal and intentional.

So now, if you are inclined, I invite you to grab a notebook, or maybe some coloring tools, or any other crafts or tools that you are drawn to. If you are musically inclined, you may grab an instrument. You can also take this time to simply listen and receive what the Lord has for you.

We will spend the next few minutes exploring creative expressions of worship. This is your time to connect with our Lord in a way that feels personal and authentic to you. I will be playing instrumental music to guide our time together, but for now, take a couple of grounding breaths.

Feel free to receive. And open your senses to the Lord. Take a moment to ground yourself in God’s love. he continues to provide for you and has invited you to wake up today and rest in him. Close your eyes, if you can, and invite his presence into your safe space.

Three simple ways to prepare our hearts to worship are to recognize, receive, and respond.

Recognize by making room in your heart and thoughts. Invite and anticipate God’s presence. He is the ultimate shepherd who invites us to lay down in green pastures. He leads us beside still waters and restores our souls.

Allow the following verses to wash over you as you receive his word.

Psalm 8:3-4 — When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

Psalm 19:1 — The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands.

Psalm 24:1-2 — The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.

[Repeat]

The next couple of minutes is your time to respond through your personal creative expression. Feel free to write, draw, or journal, pray, or even sing. You are free to reflect on the earlier verses or lean into how the Lord interacts with you as you respond to him.

As we conclude our time together, feel free to reflect on the creative expressions you explored with our Creator today. Consider how these expressions can become a regular part of your worship beyond the Sunday service. The Lord speaks to us in many ways, and he has given us gifts for us to use to connect with him and serve his people.

May your God-inspired creativity be a source of meaningful connection with our Lord, and may you find pockets of time to make room daily beyond our Sunday gatherings.


Cara: Thank you for listening to this episode of GC Podcast. We hope you found this time valuable. We would love to hear from you. Email us at info@gci.org with your suggestions or feedback. And remember, healthy churches start with healthy leaders, so invest in yourself and in your leaders.

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