Worship & Wine: Getting better over time. Part 1

Author: Ryan Internicola

Wine gets better over time (so I’m told!) But with the wrong conditions it can go bad or never reach it’s peak potential. Same with us worshippers! Our gifts and callings are like fresh, new wine. Given the right conditions they will mature and expand over time and we will become all that God imagines. I’m still maturing like everyone else! My hope is that you can gain some wisdom from my 15+ years of experience in full-time worship ministries. Some of my tips might surprise you; and so might my analogies!

Why are we talking about wine? Cuz’ Jesus does!

“No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” Mark 2:22 (NASB)

When Jesus says this it’s in the context of a discussion about fasting. I consider fasting to be an act of worship because I’m a worship leader and I find a way to make everything about worship. So, there you go! For our conversation here, let’s say the new wine represents your gifts and calling as a worshipper.

Interestingly, the Apostle Paul also relates our worship life to wine:

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” Ephesians 5:18-19 (NASB)

He’s showing us that there is something far better than natural wine: being filled with God’s Spirit and experiencing worship together!

Let’s talk wineskins. Simply put, it’s a container. However, it is a special kind of container: being made of skin, it is flexible. That’s really important. Old wineskins have already flexed to their max capacity. So, if you put new wine in them, they can no longer expand as the wine ferments. The skins burst and the wine is lost. The problem is not that they’re old. The problem is that they are inflexible.

A new wineskin is flexible. It is able to expand as the wine ferments.

Alright, alright! I’m coming back from analogy land and getting practical! You need a container for your worship calling. But it needs to be flexible so it can expand as your calling matures. Simply put: you need structure. Flexible structure.

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Have you ever thought, “God has given me this passion and these talents but I don’t seem to be going anywhere!” How about, “I could do so much more with these gifts if I just had the right people around me!” Or maybe the pace of your growth has just been discouragingly slow. Worshipper, you need flexible structure.

Many of us spiritual, artistic types reject structure. We feel it is too constraining, or it inhibits us from following the Holy Spirit. The truth often is, we lack discipline and we don’t like being told what to do because we’re insecure. (I write this with a big, loving smile on my face!) Without structure, the wine of our gifts and calling just spills out on the ground and never has a chance to reach its full potential.

In the next few posts I will share some surprising structures I have discovered that actually free me to fulfill my calling! I believe they will free you too!

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