Eminent Worship


The imagery of drowning has been so completely prevalent in my life this year, it almost didn't even surprise me when it was one of the descriptions Ian used.  We were talking out the vision he wanted me to live paint during the ten year celebration of Eminent Worship, a ministry he inherited and has faithfully led. 

This time last year, when I launched my writing and completely revamped my vision for Artistic Therapy, I paired it with the song In Over My Head:

"And You crash over me,
I've lost control but I'm free. 
I'm going under.  I'm in over my head. 
When You crash over me,
I'm right where You want me to be. 
I'm going under.  I'm in over my head. 
Whether I sink, whether I swim,
it makes no difference when I'm beautifully in over my head."

I completely connected with Ian using the word drowning to describe the ministry God has called him to.  As he described the heart behind Eminent and the journey they have been on for the last decade, I asked the Lord to give me a vision to paint.  I saw an ocean full of people at various depths of faith, in over their heads, yet hands lifted, surrendered to the lifestyle of following Jesus.   

Some of the worship leaders who have come through Eminent are in the initial phase.  They may not be deep in their faith journey yet, but they are headed out to new waters.  Discipleship is critical at this stage.  Being surrounded with people more seasoned in ministry will help them know that hands open, heart surrendered will get them through the fear of drowning, the joy of wild adventure on the open sea, the turbulent times, and the peaceful seasons that can lull you into complacency.  The ocean is such a great visual for sanctification.  

Some of the worship leaders came desperately needing to rekindle their passion and fire.  Being around fresh and eager is like a booster shot for tired souls.  We need that balance.  We also need the balance that only comes when there is biblical unity.  Bringing churches together, meeting at different locations to engage different bodies of believers became a cornerstone for Eminent.  It was pretty much a brand new concept at the time.  The vision God gave Heath Jackson ten years ago to unify the local churches through worship and discipleship was revolutionary.  

The day that Eminent was set to launch it's first gathering, tragedy ripped through our community. I don't believe it is a coincidence that the very day believers set out to bring together different cultures, different denominations, and different styles, under the declaration that worship isn't about us, it's about an Eminent God that evil set out to steal, kill, and destroy.  I was not able to know Heath, but the tidal wave of his murder rocked our city.  Our enemy hates unity.  He will go to extreme measures to try and stop it. 

The first Eminent Worship was believers coming together to be held by the God they exaulted over their own anger, brokenness, and confusion.  Hands raised no matter the circumstances.  Even in his death, the legacy of surrender became Heath's discipleship for generations to come. 

What a beautiful thing for your Heavenly treasures to continue piling up, even after you are gone. 

Ian has faithfully carried the torch Heath passed on ten years ago. As he shared his testimony, the vision God painted became clearer.  There would be ten sets of hands, different ethnicities, representing ten years of living out the vision God planted in Heath for Ian to water. 

The best part of the ocean imagery is that Jesus isn't called savior for no reason.  He doesn't leave us drowning.  When we are in over our heads, He does miraculous things we never could have experienced without being out in the deep end.  The testimonies shared on the celebration night spoke over and over of God's power and faithfulness during the last ten years. Testimonies that may never have born fruit if the surrender of those initial members had allowed the enemy to claim boundaries.

We ended the night singing the song they sang at that very first Eminent Worship gathering, when through heartbroken sobs they declared a resolve to walk in the faith they professed. 

When all of a sudden, 
I am unaware of the afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful you are
and how great Your affections are for me....
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking.


100% of the profits from "Eminent Worship" will be donated to this amazing ministry.  Order your copy https://artistictherapy.net/collections/reproductions/products/eminent-worship

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