December 18, 2015 Leave a comment
I’m one of a few people rostered to lead worship in our church. A few weeks ago, it was my turn.
It was different. Some noticed that I used 6 songs instead of the usual 5. But that’s not it.
I have a rough pattern that I usually follow, not that it’s a formula or rule, but there are reasons behind it. That week, I changed the pattern. The tempo and mood of the songs dropped very rapidly, and built up from there. It seemed to fit the bible reading that the pastor had chosen for that week. It seemed to fit the circumstances of a few people I know and love. It also reflected how I was feeling personally, with some challenges and tough decisions, both at work and in other aspects of life, and where I needed to set my thoughts.
Anyway, it was different. I think it was appropriate. Maybe no-one noticed, but the point wasn’t to be noticed. I just hoped it was helpful.
Afterward I felt particularly appreciative toward the worship team that day: the backing singer, who willingly joined us, and carried the melody at times; the bassist and the drummer, who not only played well but have become quite good at hearing where the music and the worship are going, and working together. I don’t think anyone knew I had chosen a path that wasn’t easy or comfortable, but they came with me. I’m grateful.
Last week was my turn again. The pastor’s theme for the week was “joy” so he specifically requested there be joyful songs. I wasn’t entirely sure about my choice, felt no particular inspiriation in preparing, and made a number of changes during practise on what seemed to work and what would flow reasonably.
A couple of times during the worship, I sensed a nudge from the Spirit to change from the standard arrangement / order of verses, choruses, repeats etc. The second time I actually followed through. Then came a nudge to stop singing and say something. Sometimes I plan to say something during or between songs, sometimes I don’t. Either way, it’s odd for me as I’m not that talkative, but sometimes something just starts pouring out in worship, and it seems to draw me and at least some other people more deeply into God’s presence. That happened.
Thinking about it, I am so grateful that God accepts our simple worship. That he blesses tiny steps of obedience. That he leads me when I need leading. That he welcomes us into his presence.