ARTS IN WORSHIP: CREATIVITY FOR THE SENT ONES
Recently, my family has been blessed to be able to take part in some really wonderful gatherings where the musical worship was superb! So, for the first time in a few years, my wife and I are not involved in all the behind-the-scenes preparation that takes place to make it all happen.
But you never forget what all goes into this daunting task. My biggest issue that was seemingly irreconcilable was how to become a servant and pastor the team and the body and equip them both simultaneously while also leading them in songs and not let the song service take precedence. How do you detox off tradition, meet with God, make disciples, grow His church (not your own organization), and avoid the event-driven excuse for ministry.
I find that often the Holy Spirit speaks to me in a list (usually a rather long one) of questions. I wanted to just share that with you the way it comes to me, sort of raw, completely unpacked, setting my mind racing, unsettling my emotions and comfort and thumbing through my mental Bible.
So here are some questions that I suppose these worship experiences have helped to inspir. Many of these are ones that always (i.e. every time I pick up an instrument to practice or step into a worship center or pass a fellowship’s building, as if a person or group of people could own it) kick around in my head. Hopefully you throw in feedback and start a dialogue here or take them in and maybe pass along to a friend.
Again I haven’t unpacked any of them at all. There’s so much to be said. I really hope you open up your heart and let God have His way as you read this, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Are we a bunch of clanging cymbals?
Would it be better for us to not sing and feign a move of the Spirit, the same one who demands, guides us into, and sustains unity?
What makes worship music and singing excellent?
Do the leaders and congregation know the biblical foundation and mandate for these activities?
Do the responses of people matter more to people than the responses of God to people?
Are we teaching the next generation to be stale?
Are we teaching the next generation?
Is your child learning to worship via participation?
What if we did it like the Puritans and began shepherding families in the homes by leading family worship for them and teaching as we go, then overseeing it with guidance, and then overseeing it from afar?
What if the local church family worship was just the macrocosm of the microcosm that is family worship?
Does our liturgy even allow for a time of sending?
Is there a regular rhythm of sending off at any time in our gathering?
Does our song choice represent our DNA?
Do we really have a reason to sing? Does it look like it?
Is our striving for excellence Gospel-centered and motivated?
Is the congregation being served by the team?
Is the team being served by the worship pastor?
Is the worship pastor or leader equipping?
Do we know the difference in repetition and replication or innovation?
What do we expect of this time?
Does this time always look and feel the same? Why? Why not?
Would it be in the best interest of the congregation to forgo this privilege for the sake serving the world, starting with the community they’ve been sent to?
How can song selection be Spirit-led which is not to say say spontaneous
What do criteria to base our critiques on?
Are we afraid to critique our family?
Are we critiquing the the right things?
What do we do with the criticisms offered?
How are we actually striving for excellence?
Are we analyzing a few skill sets as purely a performance?
Does every single decision we make go before the Lord in prayer?
Does every action, idea, strategy come to chopping block before it is finalized or only after?
Does everything get reexamined in prayer and then together in light of the Great Commission? Is there any accountability to this?
Is there any accountability?
Are we truly delighting in the Lord? For this answer to be affirmative, don’t we have to delight in Him always? Are we doing THAT?
Thank you Father for repentance, truth, new life in YOU and mostly we are grateful for you. We want literally every bit of our life to bring you glory and for us all the become true worship leaders in ALL of life. We want to leave your flavor everywhere we go. Thank you for sending us and your Spirit along side. We love you and can’t live another second without wanting to be closer to you than we were that last breath we took.Thank you for that breath and for these ones and for my family, our families, your family, our loved ones, your children. Open our eyes to see your grace at work and Holy Spirit empower us to carry what God had ordained for us before creation. In Jesus’ name, amen!