I don't know you about the rest of you, but I'm finding that when I get on my knees and raise my hands, I feel an instant connection with God. Maybe because it's such a visible sign of surrender and humility... I don't know...
I really liked the comment near the top of page 132:
I see that as a huge challenge to us when planning (and executing) the worship service. Making a lasting impact is tough. To truly "impress" upon them the image of God through music."You see, our music may make people feel good for a little while, but unless God flows through our music and touches their spirits, the good feeling won't last."
Ron, that's hilarious - and thanks for jumping in and starting the thread this AM.
I can so relate to this week - I love how Dwayne continues to dive into the tension between us "worshiping" and "leading". It's a tension that is always there, and one we have to be very intentional about.
I think that inspiration is so critical. I think about this more and more as I plan a worship service, and I ask myself, what is something that will truly inspire them towards Christ.
I'm finding that it may be a special music solo, a special song, a reading, an instrumental interlude, or even silence.
The Holy Spirit is so creative, and will show and reveal to us, if we just ask, and listen.
Music does have the power to sway our emotions - it can cause us to be happy or sad, even angry. The question to me is, how will we use music to influence our church into a greater level of worship?
Going back a few days in this study, we need to make sure that the words are biblically correct. We also need to make sure that we lead with passion for God - and that it can be seen by others as well as felt by us. Above all, though, I think that if we are going to influence them into greater worship, we need to be experiencing greater levels of worship - both through music and study of God and who He is (involving prayer, bible study and spending time with Him).
It goes without saying that we need to submit to the Holy Spirit when choosing music for our worship services... but there are times that I need to be reminded of that as well. Yes, we need to have a good rotation of songs, but we can't let thoughts like "we haven't done this song in a month - it's time again" to get in the way of God telling us to sing something else. Perhaps someone needs to hear it, to sing out the words, and to re-declare it within them selves to God.
Sometimes, "trying to wake the dead" would seem to be the first order on Sunday mornings. Some people come ready to meet God, some come with a huge burden weighing them down, some come out of a sense of duty, some come because they have to. Some are looking for an excuse to get bent out of shape. And our job is to inspire them!
I Corinthians 9:22 says, "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." Somehow we have to be compassionate yet firm, authoritative without being prideful, passionate yet controlled.
It becomes more and more clear with each day's lesson that we absolutely must be totally surrendered to God, we must spend much time with him, we must take time to listen to his voice. All of our best knowledge and skills fall immeasurably short of the standard God has placed before us as ministers through music. We absolutely have to let him guide us if his work is to be accomplished through us.
God, it's time to stop giving you anything less than 100%. That is a tall order for me. Teach me to rely on your strength, for mine fails.
We need to allow God to be present in our music. We can do this by leaving enough time prior to the service where we can go to God in prayer. Use this time to allow God to fill your heart with his spirit so you can allow that to spill over to others during your worship time.
Our music on our own will allow others to feel good for a little while. If we allow God to flow through our music, it will effect others long term.
We also need to remember that others will watch us. Our actions need to reflect what we are doing and why we are up there.
That tension between worshiping and leading others can be a very tough balance. My pastor and I were just talking about this the other day. Sometimes, the best way we can inspire our congregations is through leadership... but sometimes, they just need to see us worshiping.
This discussion made me think about the music at my church this Sunday. The song selection was less "praise and worship" and more "rock and roll worship circus". High energy. Fun. Etc...
There were several comments on my Sunday Setlist post stating that the music made more of an impression on them than it had in a while. Interesting perspective considering that we had been trying to make more "worshipful" choices in the last year...
Not sure what to think of that.
Love the author's illustration about the fellow he's discipling who mentioned playing worship music as an aid to his Christian walk. My sentiments exactly -- this is why I only listen to Christian music. Why fill my time and my mind with anything else?
Wannabe's comment about "waking the dead" is right on -- I need to be sensitive to where the folks in the congregation are and ask for the Spirit to lead me in choosing music that will speak to someone that day. I know I have been powerfully ministered to by songs that I've heard a million times but that particular day God spoke thru them and I was undone.
MandoRon, maybe the congregation just needed to experience some of the joy of salvation that day! We sing so much about God's greatness, how we are so dependent upon Him, how we are lost without Him, that sometimes we just forget to dance and laugh and enjoy His presence. I know I did not come from a church where being exuberant before the Lord was "OK", but I'm learning. Sometimes we have a young lady that comes to the front and just dances with joy, which blesses me so much because she is doing what I often yearn to do but cannot because of the large wooden thing strapped to my front which is tied to the large heavy black box next to it.
I thank God for the inspiration of music and songs that our choir and praise team gives us at worship service. I believe that God, keeps me in the frame of mind to receive from Him and be delivered. I have learned that in order to live holy for me; is forever me judging me –so that I can get the junk out of me that I had forgotten that I had; and keep me free from receiving not the things of God. Music played a great part in the praise and worship for me. It does not matter to me if it makes me sad or happy; because it gets me in the mind set of receiving the Holy Ghost and the Word of God.
I live at the altar in my church. I remember when I used to go there because of the mess that was in my life and I need deliverance. Now, I go many times, just to lie at the threshing floor and at the feet of the Father. There I feel my strongest connection to God. Where He is – is where I want to be.