What if our “worship services” were actually what they were advertised to be? What if God enjoyed them as much as we did? Is it possible? Does God even attend church anymore? If He does, how do we go about inviting Him, or making Him feel welcome should He walk into our sanctuary?
Now I can’t speak for every church, or even every person in my home church; but there is one way I know of that can “encourage” God to manifest His Presence and work His work.
As a worship leader, I understand how important it is for every musician, every singer, and every sound and video tech to be on the same page. And in order to make certain everyone is where they’re supposed to be, doing what they’re supposed to do, we have times to rehearse; to practice.
As I lead our practices, there are several things I like to cover with the team. Some things are essential, others are on an “if we have time” basis.
First, are all the instruments in tune with each other? If you don’t have unity in sound, you can’t have good harmony! You’ll never improve your team “sound”, until you are tuned together.
Second, how do we plan on beginning our worship time? Is their a particular word, a certain flow, a heavenly sound to be shared? How does each singer and musician fit in?
Then there are things like key changes, transitions, tempos, solos, and any possible problem parts in a song. We’ll especially practice the beginning and ending of each song, as well as any a cappella parts.
But to me, rehearsal is primarily about ensuring we are on God’s page.
Together, on God’s page. To not only sing the right notes, but sing with the right heart! In unity. In harmony. With God and each other.
For instance, as a team we should be prepared to follow God’s Spirit, the pastor, and the worship leader. As a team we must support one another, whether or not we are singing a solo or “just blending” with everyone. Can we work hard in rehearsal, all prepared to “razzle-dazzle” the congregation with our prowess, and receive the pastor’s call to cut certain songs from the list? What if they said “no singing” this morning? Even after we’ve practiced “long and hard”? Are we still on the same page?
Can we lay aside our instruments and voices to keep them from being the object of our worship? At times we can get caught up in the sound more than the Savior. To remain on the same page, and flow with what God wants to do, we must be prepared to do so.
It’s part of rehearsal, preparing our hearts as well as our instruments.
The Lord wants to have the freedom to minister to every person, no exceptions. Saved or unsaved, spiritual, carnal, or dead; emotional or reserved it makes no difference!
“I thought God could do whatever He wanted to do!” A couple of verses will repudiate that line of thinking:
“How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, and grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: the day when He redeemed them from the enemy.” (Psalm 78:40-41 NKJV)
“Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.” (Mark 6:5 NKJV)
He wanted to do more! He WANTS to do more! But we have our part to do: pray, hear, believe, and obey.
As worship leaders and worshippers, let’s be on the same page with God and each other.
The Awesome One will arise in our midst!
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)
“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you.” (Isaiah 60:1 NLT)