MEGA-WORSHIP TEXT-FESSIONAL for this past week
September 29, 2008
This has been a good week. I call it a good week because it was a week chock full of me doing what I was made to do: worship. Yes, that should happen ALWAYS – we should all live there – but I, personally, find a heightened sense of God’s presence when I’m worshiping in community and with song.
First, My wife & I led our church’s Wednesday noon prayer meeting. Pulling from an assortment of old favorites like “Consuming Fire” & “Give us clean Hands“, a few newer ‘prophetic’ songs from IHOP, and an original chorus by my wife, we spontaneously led various numbers interspersed with and flowing from the prayers being offered up in the room. I’ll be honest – I find that degree of spontaneity personally challenging (though, I’ll admit it: my wife LIVES THERE), & I was a bit unsure of whether or not we really ‘connected’ to those in the room. I found hope in the fact that, at least from my own heart, God was worshiped, and I received a number of kind remarks about it later in the week. That’s an area I’d like to grow in, but God graciously showed His face to us in spite of my weakness.
Later than night, we had a special INSIDE OUT Sr. High service with an extended time of worship, which I co-led with one of my youth leaders, Aaron. His worship leading is energetic and infectious and most definitely connects with his peers, and I love to see younger leaders stepping up to the plate. Though it wasn’t the single most passionate/expressive Wednesday night we’ve had so far this school year (there have been weeks that I wondered if we’d go ‘pentecostal’), the Holy Spirit was clearly present, and hearts were changed. First, Aaron led the opening set of “My Glorious” (Delirious), “One Way” (Hillsong United), and a powerful song he introduced to our youth the week before – which, I might add, I’ve been pulling for since I heard the demo – “Glorious One” (Fee). What’s more interesting, HE LED FROM THE BASS – and did it very well. My personal favorite from his set is Steve Fee’s “Glorious One“, as it’s such a good balance of Biblical truth and personal response, packaged in a powerfully melodic chorus, yet at the same time it’s very easy to pull off (unlike his other awesome, but nearly unreplicable, “All because of Jesus”). Later, following a time of sharing & testimonies, I continued our corporate singing by re-introducing our youth to the infamous “Healer” (which I love even more BECAUSE of the controversy: the song feels even deeper knowing the real story behind it), “Jesus Paid it All” (a favorite at our church, especially among our youth), and sent them home with a challenge, much like Fred delivered on SSCC’s night of worship, to reach our community, with “God of this City“. Overall, it was a truly exciting night as I looked out over the room and saw a mix of indifferent (dudes who are merely there to pick up chics – at least they’re coming and hearing the Word and seeing authentic worship) and those truly moved (at least 4 groups were huddled up, praying, and in tears). I love Inside Out and am proud of what goes on there week by week.
And this portion is ‘participating’ in Fred’s Sunday Setlist blog.
Lastly, I was in the rotation to lead for this past Sunday morning as well, which is always a joy. Our Sunday AM musicians are professional, friendly, and a pleasure to work with, so rehearsal is rarely a chore (though even the best band has their moments, I admit it). I was particularly excited to have my wife on both keys and singing alto for this morning! Thursday night’s rehearsal was one of the smoothest I’ve ever had to date, and seemed to zip right by, and Sunday morning – apart from me forgetting lyrical phrase (along with EVERYONE ELSE) from one song – went spectacularly. The band played almost flawlessly, the congregation was fairly responsive and seemed to be connecting with the songs (pockets folks stood and raised their hands of their own initiative), I personal felt ‘connected’ to God and our congregation as a leader. Our set started off with Tim Hughes’ “Happy Day” – one of my personal favorites – after which I welcomed everyone to church, and dove into a 2 song set of “Your Grace is Enough” (Maher/Tomlin) and “Mighty to Save” (Hillsong). Though I am by no means a servant of Hillsong – there is particularly much in their lyrics that I question at times – this song in particular deserves recognition and use among churches of every flavor: the lyrics are powerful proclamation and intimate response all wrapped up into one, and the melody is infectious. I wouldn’t mind singing this song every week, personally. After an far-more-intense-than-usual sermon by David mostly about trusting God in our current financial climate, we had communion, during which we sang “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)” and Tomlin/Redman’s classic reworking of a great hymn, “The Wonderful Cross“. Sadly, we ran short on time during our first service and had to cut our closing song, but for the 2nd service we responded with “Though I Will Trust You“. If anything were to have gone better on Sunday, I think I should have considered my words more carefully – somehow, I had given what I was going to say that morning little thought, and found myself digging for the right turn of phrase at times, but I don’t think that was too distracting, thankfully.
All in all, it was a wonderful week. Thank You, Father!