Worshipping Well at CDL
If you were not one of the 500 people who attended CDL 6 in Vancouver, we missed you. Photos and highlights have appeared in the latest Friday Digests of March 10 and March 17. Our deep gratitude goes out to our amazing hosts at Surrey Christian, our 80 presenters, our 19 sponsors (scroll down), and all of you who joined us in Vancouver!
Thanks to those of you who sent feedback. One of the highlights many people referred to was the opportunity to spend a day visiting schools who are using various models to frame the deeper learning mission in a Christian context. Teaching for Transformation (TfT), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Project Based Learning (PBL) provide common language and embodied practices that help bring the school mission and values down from posters on the walls into the minds and hearts of teachers and students as they figure out together what it actually looks like to play our roles in God’s Story, to partner with God in restoring a broken world.
The most critical feedback we received was about not starting each day with a time of “worship”. I added the quotation marks because it got me thinking about what it means to worship God.
Like some of our participants, I missed the power of singing together with our minds and hearts directed to the Lord. If you belong to a small church like I do, it is exhilarating to join a chorus of 500 voices praising God. I do regret we were not able to share that experience at CDL6. There are lots of choices to make when designing a conference program. One of our goals was to create a schedule that didn’t feel rushed. We chose to shorten our morning gathering in order to create a more relaxed schedule that gave people time to fellowship with one another, be inspired by the gallery of student work, be refreshed in the “sacred space”, and find valuable resources from our partner sponsors.
I am not suggesting we made the right call in our conference design, but the feedback indicating that we neglected to provide an opportunity to worship has me thinking about what it means to worship God.
The Heart of Worship
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31
The heart of worship is about bringing glory to God. Yes, we worship when we follow David’s exhortation in psalm 100, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”
But worship is not limited to the 15 minutes when we sing together. We worship whenever our hearts overflow with gratitude and awe at the grace and majesty of God. When we are attentive, intentional, aware of God’s presence, everything we do becomes worship. It is an attitude, a way of being, an awareness of our role in God’s story. When we act in accord with who God made us to be, we bring him Glory. The rocks, the trees, the animals, all creation shows God’s Glory, even as they groan with us as we wait for redemption in the coming of our Lord. (Romans 8:23).
Deeper Learning in Christian Schools
Here is an excerpt from our foundational document, Deeper Learning in Christian Schools:
All members of the community in a deeper-learning Christian school are invited to see their
identity as God’s beautiful handiwork, made in his likeness. As image-bearers of God we are:
1. Created to worship – We are made to worship God, to find joy, meaning, faith, peace
, and love in relationship with the Trinity. Learning deepens when the process, the
content, and the application of all we learn is guided by our call to worship in spirit and truth.
2. Created to connect – We are designed for connection to God and others, reflecting
the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Learning deepens when it promotes
relationships, is dependent on collaboration, and connects our personal stories with
the story of God’s redemption.
3. Created to create – God’s first role was Creator. Made in His image, we are made to
create. Learning deepens when students are asked to apply knowledge and skills to
create works of beauty, authenticity, and service.
4. Created to engage – We are designed to put the love God has “shed abroad in our
hearts” into action. Learning deepens when we are engaged in school, in our
communities, and in caring for God’s creation.
5. Created to grow: We are designed to develop in our knowledge and understanding of
who God is. Learning and faith deepen when we can answer, "How does this help us
know God more?"
Any Christian school conference that pursues deeper learning will have these image-bearing characteristics at the foundation of its design, and maximize every opportunity for everyone in the community to manifest them.
I hope our conference provided participants an opportunity to join together as image bearers, worshiping God through connecting, creating, engaging, and growing.
All photo credits above: SCS Photography - many thanks for your invisible but omnipresent documentation of CDL6!
Editor's note about the Digest: We hope to share with you each week articles of interest that you may have missed. This will include current information as well as previous blog posts from CDL that perhaps you didn’t have time to read the first time around. If you have items you think may be of interest, please feel free to get in touch with me at email@example.com. We are also seeking blog writers for our blog posts which are published each week on Monday and Wednesday. For more info, see our guidelines.