The Wow Factor

By Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor

Every once in a while, the only word that can begin to describe it is “wow.” It is the spontaneous expression reserved for those times when something stops the routine, wakes us up and grabs our attention. In wonder and amazement, we are stopped right in our tracks. Our expectations have been exceeded. Something has touched us deeply, and we want to talk about it.

Surely, the disciples burst forth in “wow” a time or two as they witnessed Jesus performing miracles. When water is turned into wine and thousands are fed from a young boy’s lunch, someone must have been deeply touched and pleasantly surprised. I imagine that audible “wows” were heard frequently in those days.

Where are the “wow” moments today? For me, it was definitely a “wow” moment as I gazed at my granddaughter for the first time. She was remarkable in every way. Finally, I understand the joy that grandparents have been talking about for all these years. Ten months ago, I did not know that it was possible to have a giggling contest with a baby, but she and I had one yesterday. I think she won.

I have heard reports from some of our local churches about their vacation Bible school attendance, and I have to say “wow,” again. To think that as this hot summer progresses, there are literally thousands of children who are being blessed by the ministry of the church through VBS. The faith is being passed on to a new generation.

This past Sunday during worship, a young adult woman sang an awe-inspiring solo, “Where He Leads Me.” Her voice was pure and sweet. When she finished, all I could echo was “Wow, God is so good.”

And yes, there are those many times when I hear a sermon, and it speaks right to my heart. It goes beyond, “preacher, you really told ‘em today” to “I really needed that.”

The “wow” factor does not just happen. It takes the conviction and commitment of a congregation to offer the very best to God in worship and service. When we do church that way, it often results in the “wow” factor with intangible moments of “aha” and gasps of admiration for God. When we realize that God is present, it is a showstopper.

How many times have you left a worship service and commented, “I feel like I have been to church today?”

It is the prayer of every worship leader that God’s people will experience afresh the presence of the Holy Spirit and be moved to say “wow.”

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