|After releasing nearly a dozen Christian CDs, including the fun pop/rock disc Taste and See, father and worship leader Peder Eide (pronounced "I'd") has a new passion. He has been touring the country with Taste Worship, a unique, interactive family event. We asked Peder to give us a taste of his ministry, and help parents and adolescents catch his vision for family worship.|
You view worship as much bigger than what happens in church, don't you?
After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, when the Jewish nation scattered into exile, rabbis began to refer to the home as the mikdash me'at—the small sanctuary or the ministered temple. The home, like the temple, was set aside for special purposes. I'm all for congregating as a body, but I believe the home is still where church is mostly supposed to happen. A lot of churches recognize the need to get families connected this way, because it doesn't happen naturally like it used to.
How can families be more successful at achieving that?
There's a place for Sunday School, junior high church and a senior high worship service. Children need that peer bond. But if a family really wants to draw together spiritually, they need to share the worship experience. We need to do better at balancing that out. If you look back in your life and think of milestone moments in your own personal faith, you could probably narrow them down to three categories: relationships, experiences or powerful stories. When families worship together they often share all three at once.
OK, let's get very practical and walk through key elements of your 2 1/2-hour live program. You use the acronym T.A.S.T.E. to explore family worship. How does that work?
A Taste Worship experience is funny, because it's different from what you get from artists like Chris Tomlin or David Crowder. This is high-energy, Mountain Dew worship. We use a lot of media. In fact, we use live music and borrow clips from popular movies to drive the point of each section home. The first "T" stands for Touch, which is worship in that it's an act of love. Jesus healed tons of people without touching them, but He touched the leper. The leper really needed to be touched, because he'd been missing that. We tell people, "Someone in your family needs your touch." You can say things with touch that you can't say with words.
Don't you also give out a specific kind of candy as a way of reinforcing each point?
That's right. Everyone gets an assortment of candy when they walk in. For example, the Hershey's Hug reinforces Touch. We also use Life Savers, Werthers Originals, jelly beans … we get all the senses involved. So first there's Touch. Then we look at "A" for Affirmation. We base it on 1 Thessalonians 5:11, which talks about encouraging and building each other up. It's an ingredient of worship when you affirm somebody, because you are actually picking out a gift or something God is doing in them. You're blessing them and honoring God's handiwork. Until you are challenged to affirm a family member, you may not see something of great value that has been there all along.
That's so important. Most of us have probably never looked at it as an act of worship, but it really is. What does the "S" signify?
Service. Philippians 2:3 warns us not to do anything out of selfish ambition, but to consider others better than ourselves. Jesus modeled that humility by washing His disciples' feet. We can serve one another at home by cleaning up the dishes, doing chores or just helping out without being asked. We tell people, "If you look in your silverware drawer, you'll see that knives are for cutting and forks are for sticking, but spoons are for serving. We are all meant to be spoons." We have spoon pendants there to serve as a reminder. If I clean up your dishes after dinner, I can take off my necklace and give it to you with the commission, "You have been served, now go serve."
That's a great image. What about the second "T"?
Is that because they tie us to something bigger than ourselves? Exactly. And they keep us connected. If you look at any tradition in your life, the thing you'll remember most about it is who you share it with. The activity itself is almost secondary to the relationships and memories you're reinforcing by keeping that tradition. Our family started sleeping under the Christmas tree every Dec. 23 because that was my dad's birthday. We always open a box of chocolate-covered cherries—which is all he ever wanted on his birthday—and we talk about Grandpa. My kids never knew my dad, but they'll always feel a connection to him.
And the last of the five flavors is…
Everywhere. That's the "E," which reminds us that everywhere is holy ground. Your home. The highway. The football field. McDonald's. That means late some night when your daughter comes home two hours past her curfew, the kitchen is now holy ground. Turn it into a worship opportunity. God wants to meet us in all sorts of places and situations. We need to stop thinking that worship ends when the praise band stops playing. I like giving families a chance to make fun memories together as they think outside their normal rhythm.
For more information about Taste Worship, including how to bring Peder Eide to your church, visit www.tasteworship.com.
Published April 2008