I remember walking into Proskuneo Worship Institute so nervous. Everything in my heart knew that good things were about to happen. But everything in my head was telling me to run. Fortunately my heart won the battle, and I stepped through the door. I had always wondered what welcome felt like. That day I found out. That was 2010, and the first day of PWI every year since. It always feels the same even though the people and the spaces are different.
Welcome. Like a warm blanket wrapped around you in a cold world. Like a cool glass of water to a parched soul. Like a comfortable chair that invites you to stay a while. That kind of welcome.
It doesn’t matter what language you speak. Your skill level doesn’t determine whether you fit or don’t fit. The one thing that brings us to the same space is the one thing that welcomes us… pure and uncomplicated worship. If you dance… dance. If you draw… draw. If you sing… sing. And if you’re not sure, do it all! Try it all! It’s pretty simple really.
For 11 years we have been creating space for worshippers to come and… well, worship. In the process, a lot of other benefits happen. We make friends. On one end of the spectrum we may step out of the shadows… or the other end, back away from the spotlight. We find our voice. We lay down weeks we have carried. And we breathe in a way we don’t get to on an ordinary day in our ordinary worlds.
I was 49 years old the first time I walked through the door. I don’t think you’re ever too old to stop learning. These are just a few things that I’ve learned at PWI and beyond over the last 10 years.
- I’ve learned that I don’t need to have all of the answers to lead.
- I’ve learned that God sees much deeper than I do, and sometimes just being vulnerable with my story begins to break the chains on the narrative in someone else’s.
- I’ve learned that God’s love ALWAYS changes the atmosphere.
- I’ve learned that God can break down barriers between people with something as little as a song or a couple of words in their own language.
- I have learned that I learn more from God and people and even my own soul when I listen.
- I am learning to follow like the disciples did when God called. Just get out of the boat and go.
- I’m learning that even when God asks me to do difficult things, He is with me in the challenges and cheering me on!
- And I’ve learned that people who come to PWI rarely leave without knowing they’ve been in the presence of God.
If you are at least 16 years of age… you are welcome. If you love to worship God… you are welcome. If you need to get away and figure life out a little… you are welcome. If you are “stuck” in your arts and don’t know how to get “unstuck”… you are welcome. If you are wondering what God created you for… you are welcome. If you have been to PWI more than one time… you are welcomed back. if you haven’t been to PWI in several years… you are welcomed back. There are a lot of reasons to come. We have a lot of welcome.
I really think you’ll be glad you did.
[written by Becky Thurman]