ROAR And the Meaning of Worship
By Addison Gill
This past Sunday, Easter to be specific, I had the opportunity to spend my evening at ROAR. Now what is ROAR? I guess in simplest terms it was a concert but to the creators of this ministry, it goes much deeper than that. The title ROAR is taken from Acts 2:2 which describes the day of Pentecost. The arrival of the Holy Spirit was “like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting” (New Living Translation).
ROAR was a collection of passionate young adults who gathered together to openly and freely worship God, celebrate His impact in their lives, and receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Pace Fordham, a pastor in Cincinnati, OH, and a founder and director of ROAR had this to say about the event,
“ROAR was a reminder that God loves and wants us regardless of our condition or what we bring to the table. He decided to claim us when no one else would. That’s the gospel”
This year was the second installment of ROAR and even though I missed the first one, I could tell that this event was just as good if not better. I saw many advertisements for the event and I think that the leaders delivered. One thing that I appreciated is that even though freedom of expression was encouraged, professionalism was never compromised. In other words, the music, singing, and overall production, were very high quality. I would definitely recommend this experience to someone when it rolls back around.
With all of that being said, here are my personal takeaways…
Through the years I have attended many services similar to this one. And while they seemed to have a very positive impact on the masses, they haven’t touched me in the same way. To be honest, I was a bit envious of not feeling the “outpouring of the Holy Spirit.” I have often wondered if I was the problem, questioning the validity of my relationship with God, wondering if I was too close-minded or out of touch (I’m kind of an old soul). Either way, I thought that I may have been doing something wrong. Many preachers and worship leaders of today have a tendency to “call out” those who don’t show an audible or physical expression of praise. Accused more reserved individuals of being ungrateful or too proud. I don’t think that these leaders are being intentionally malicious, but this concept has never sat quite right with me.
When I saw advertisements for ROAR, I knew that it wasn’t my typical kind of thing but I still didn’t want to miss out. Although my expectations of having a miraculous encounter weren’t high, I prayed that I would be open minded and walk away with something spiritually positive. To be frank, for the majority of the service, I felt the same as I always did. I wasn’t moved like the people around me appeared to be. However I did not leave empty handed.
While sitting in the service, I was praying about some separate issue in my life. Before I left that night, I could see God ordering my steps and working that situation out. From the actual program, there were two very important messages I heard from the presenters
- To own and embrace your testimony and use it help others
- That worship takes on many different forms. What’s important comes from the heart.
I’m glad I got the opportunity to attend ROAR and write this article. I got more out of it than I thought I would and I received a blessing from differently than I expected. I may not have caught the same kind of Holy Ghost that others did, but I still got Him. I know that I am not the only one who feels the way I do about worship. I hope that my experience can encourage someone else. I’ll conclude with these two thoughts: Be confident in your own relationship with God & Never underestimate God’s power to teach you something.
If you would like to check out ROAR 2023 for yourself you can click the YouTube link here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnK1STdo5Os
If you would like to see more of Pace’s ministry follow him on Instagram @paceforham and subscribe to his mobile devotional series by texting “Thoughts” to (844) 750-0137 or go to http://www.pacefordham.com