Looking at how the other half lives

Just play.

That’s how I ended it off.

We’re here to worship Him- and if we take up the task of leading
worship, we are to assist others in doing so.  Improvisation has it’s
place… but an entirely improvised worship service?

Shawn outlined the reasoning quite well- a reasoning I do, in fact, agree with, having been on the other side.

I was there when we first used Powerpoint to put songs and sermons up
on a screen at the front of the sanctuary- and at the back, so the
singers could read off it. A tremendous tool, this. It changed
everything. We could incorporate videos, sounds, and music into the
worship service. Pastors could have visual aids, verses, and cues in
the sermon. Once they figured out how to use it, it was a great tool.

Problem being, this forced a certain inflexibility to the service. Once
the order was there, they had to mostly stick with it. That was the
theory, anyway.

I’d make changes when they asked, put in different songs, change the
order, whatever. No big deal- they’d tell me, and we’d roll with it.
But one of my biggest frustrations was, ironically, when the worship
team improvised, and went to a song that they hadn’t planned on
playing- especially if it was a relatively new one.

“Wait, Dave, you’re confusing me,” you’re saying. “Didn’t you go and say, ‘just play’ last time?” Stay with it. There’s more.

Forgetting, for the moment, that a hundred heads would turn as one to
see why there wasn’t words up there, and how the techie had screwed up-
at that point, the team might well be worshipping by themselves. Part
of the reason for a ‘worship team’, I figure, is to assist us in
worshipping God together, in a style that we enjoy and can relate to.
The ‘techies’ are an integral part of that, with the systems we have
today.

When we go out and worship- corporately, privately, worshipper,
musician, sound guy, powerpoint, whatever- we just go out and do it.
Don’t worry about the performance, or what we did wrong. Don’t worry
about what anyone else thinks about you singing, raising your arms,
dancing, or however it is you worship. Just praise Him. Just play.

Sing to the Lord a new song, every time we step into that sanctuary.

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5 thoughts on “Looking at how the other half lives

  1. Anonymous

    I still think a purely improvised worship service would be neat.  This is what I see:  A bunch of people with instruments, a bunch of people wanting to worship, a songbook and God.  Let God do with the instruments as he pleases.  To see God’s mercy swell in a time and place that we didn’t planned would be awesome.
    I do agree with orderly but what I had in mind was in no way a replacement for service.  The moment an event needs to happen at a certain time(like releasing the kids), a reasonable amount of order is needed.
    What people see as a fault in a worship may be the an eye-catcher for another.  One person’s way of praising God through a strict regiment of songs may deter one worshipper but it may empower another.  One person’s way of being spontaneous may annoy another worshipper but it may strike the heart strings of another…
    Off to wings…be back with more thoughts.

  2. shakeNshine

    I guess I still cast my vote with HO………………and also agree that this couldn’t be something you would want for every service but done with an understanding beforehand……………..could prove to be a very “reverant” experience.  I just think that when something is done with all hearts in tune ……………….HE always blesses it.    🙂

  3. Anonymous

    I really enjoyed that two day blog. You write very well and you brought up a very good point. I guess people do get so into trying to be the perfect musician that they lose light in the reason that they started playing to begin with.

  4. no_wings

    It occurs to me that so often people refer to worship in very confining terms, just like they do leadership and Christian. The truth is each of these “roles” are not roles at all; rather, they are lifestyles. This is a very evangelical framework, but I believe that in all things I am to worship–as a Christian worship is my lifestyle as I try to do all things in Christ (and fall on my face almost everyday). Lifestyle is about more than entering into a role at a given time, it implies centering life around basic principles. Lifestyle is transformative in nature. I want my life to be transformative. I want every action I take to be an action of worship. I couldn’t make it through my school assignments (and do relatively well) if I thought I was doing these relatively meaningless things solely for myself. Remembering that what I do is for God centres me in new and exciting ways. I imagine it’s the same thing when you’re working with technology in a worship time. And honestly, I would have quit at The SEED if I didn’t feel it was for God. I remember one time someone asked Pat Nixon why he did the work he did at The SEED and he explained it was worship. Worship is excellent in the pews, but needs to happen in the world. We need to engage the world with our worship–everyday living for Him. Worship bonds us as Christians. When denominations disagree on so many topics, worship is one topic that Christians all can come together in. We serve one God, one Son, and one Spirit–a holy Trinity.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Dave, I appreciate it.

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