Worship Confessional 02.17.08

Blended worship setting:

  • instrumental opener (‘Unchanging’)
  • welcome….announcements… jr high feature re:30 hour famine
  • Your Great Name We Praise (arr. of Immortal Invisible)
  • Unchanging (Tomlin)
  • Here I Am to Worship (Hughes)
  • prayer
  • offertory: Treasures (choir)
  • message
  • Take My Life and Let it Be (trad.)

Contemporary setting

  • welcome…announcements…jr high feature: 30 hour famine
  • So Now We Come (Johanna Neugubauer)
  • Awesome is the Lord Most High (Tomlin and others)
  • prayer
  • (offering) Hallelujah to My King (Baloche)
  • Take My Life (Tomlin arr.)
  • message
  • Give Us Clean Hands (Hall)

waaaaay interesting Sunday. Saturday I suddenly began having trouble with my voice. Congestion related. In an unprecedented display of optimism, I took no action. Because it will get better on its own, right? So. very. wrong. By Sunday, I had 2/3 of a voice: low and high. Nothing in that rather ignorable middle area where all the songs land. So I swapped parts with the alto on the blended team, and made sure the soprano on the contemp. team was feeling particularly confident. We had an unusual combination of musicians on the contemp. band this week, which meant we were a bit more loose than normal. I didn’t play keys, as they weren’t called for in any of the songs. So. Leading a bit of a loosely connected band without my primary tools (voice or keys). Does a worship leader’s frame of mind greatly affect your ability to worship? There are about 14 answers to that question. All of them were probably in play on Sunday. So in the end, it is likely that taking a band configuration risk + not facing impending vocal doom negatively impacted the worship experience for those in the room, even if they weren’t aware of it.

Thoughts about the songs: used a different arrangement of ‘Here I am to Worship’ in the blended setting, which seemed to work. The groups in those services are not usually demonstrative during worship, but this song consistently brings people further along in that respect. This was our first time to use ‘Hallelujah to My King’…. we’ll give it another try this Sunday. I’ve always wished the Tomlin arrangement of ‘Take My Life’ would really take off in our church but so far it hasn’t. ‘Give Us Clean Hands’ however…. seems to always be effective.

Which bears asking…. how do we really know if a song is ‘working’?

One thought on “Worship Confessional 02.17.08

  1. That’s a great question. I think that sometimes, particularly with contemplative, meditative songs, it is hard to tell if a song is “working.” At least, the first few services.

    This past Sunday at Sojourn we did a new song: an updated version of the Isaac Watts hymn, “Absent from Flesh, O Glorious Thought” with a new melody and song lyric revisions by one of our worship leaders, Jamie Barnes. Everyone seemed to catch the melody right away, and people have been writing about how much they enjoyed it on our church message board.

    It’s nice when that happens, from the standpoint of knowing that you’ve got a theologically-good song that your congregation is responding to. But there have been plenty of times when I’ve heard someone talk about how a certain song has blessed them, and it’s turned out to be a song that I never knew had really impacted anyone in a big way.

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