“Make my praise glorious.”
After hearing those words from God, graduate student Sylvia Sanders knew it was her job to use flags to glorify God.
Last semester, the ORU Worship Warriors (OWW) became an official organization under the leadership of Spiritual Formation. During chapel, they express their worship through dancing with flags.
“We’re instruments of opening up the atmosphere for allowing the glory of the Lord to come down,” Sanders said. “I don’t think people understand much about the flags, but they see something shift in the atmosphere.”
The flags carry symbolism. Gold flags symbolize the divinity of God and blue symbolize the Holy Spirit or heavenly nature of God.
Last semester, the head of OWW graduated, and Sanders took on the responsibility. Several students worship under the leadership of Sanders.
Junior Joseph Sims said before he joined, the concept of flag dancing confused him.
“Once you step into it, the confusion goes away,” Sims said. “It doesn’t take long.”
OWW changed his perspective on worship.
“After a while you start to realize [dancing with flags is] true worship,” Sims said. “Now, I can’t worship the same way. I have to move and express my passion.”
Sims finds other benefits from flag dancing.
“It’s actually fun,” he said. “Making different shapes with the flag, hearing the flag’s noise, all that kind of stuff. And I may have gotten some aerobic points from it.”
Sanders said she sees the effects of OWW on the team.
“I think it’s taking [the students involved] to another level in their lives,” Sanders said. “I see some of them have become freer. ”
Both Sims and Sanders said they want more men to join the team.
“I know a lot of men are probably like ‘why are those two or three guys over there waving flags?’” said Sims. “That was something I had to grow out of. I think as a man it’s hard to express my true worship in God. It’s really not about the person to your right or to your left. It’s about you and God.”
Sanders wants to grow the ministry, hoping to take flag worshipping to a global level. But her mission lies in one thing.
“We’re going to make His praise glorious,” Sanders said.