‘Heart Rules’ series, week two.
Guest speaker: Greg Gibbs, from this church, brought a great message, “Jesus and My Hot Tub”…. what captivates your heart? what have you given your heart to?
Sing to the King (Foote)
Awesome is the Lord Most High (Tomlin, Reeves, Pierce, Abel)
From the Inside Out (Houston)
Give us Clean Hands (Hall)
Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) (Tomlin, Giglio, Excell, Rees, Newton)
The band was really tight this week, which is always a nice thing. I unintentionally created a bit of a transitional challenge by trying to move from Rah! Rah! How awesome is the Lord Most High! whoo-hooo!! to what could be a dramatic ‘a thousand times I’ve failed, still your mercy remains…’ (opening line in From the Inside Out). Musically it worked, as we began Inside Out with a little piano action under scripture being read, but thematically, and from the perspective of the congregation, we probably could have found a more effective way to make that leap. Give us Clean Hands was perfect for the theme of the day. I love that song. I don’t care how old it is; it will always be in my toolbox.
Personally… it was great to play piano again with the band. Haven’t done that in a while, not for any intentional reason; it just has worked out that way.
Musings: This was another week that brought questions to mind about the response we see, or not, within our congregation while we are worshiping together through music. As the smaller group of people looking out at the larger group of people, the worship team can’t help but notice what happens in that larger group. And it becomes a topic for us…. ‘that was amazing! so many people looked like they were responding!’ or ‘why aren’t they responding?’ and then the inevitable ‘what can we do to help them respond more?’ I’m quite sure you cannot accurately judge the state of a person’s heart by what you see them doing on the outside… can you? should you? some people are just more demonstrative than others, right? but then, why do we give excuses for those who show absolutely no response physically in worship, when it’s true that their body language speaks clearly in every other area of life? I have no answers. Just lots of questions. I DO know that I-we-the worship leading group can’t fall into the trap of believing that it is our responsibility alone to bring responses out of our congregation. True, there are more effective and less effective means of worshiping together. But the response… the connection between a person’s heart and God’s heart in congregational worship… has everything to do with that person’s connection to God before congregational worship, or that person’s openness to God’s activity in and around them. And it has everything to do with how God is actually working. Other worship leaders have written about this same idea. Check out what Rich Kirkpatrick, Fred McKinnon, and Ed Schief have written for more extensive discussion.
So… how do YOU usually respond during corporate worship? what is your reaction when people respond in ways you usually don’t?
This post is a part of Fred’s Sunday Setlist-a-ganza.