Worship Reflections 08.09.09

We are currently in a message series working through our church’s core values:
1. Pray regularly
2. Read the Bible
3. Engage in iron-sharpens-iron friendships
4. Live to tell others about Jesus.
5. Serve where God leads.

This week’s message was #4: Live to tell others about Jesus

Worship service ingredients:
Welcome & Announcements
Our God Saves (Baloche, Brown)
I Am Free (Egan)
prayer
[offering] Lord We Pray (Foote)
Message
Reflection & Response:
Video “An Unspoken Plea” (Restoration Videos)
By Our Love (Nockels)

How it worked:
The idea behind the service was good, and the songs supported the message well.  With a theme of telling others about Jesus, both as a church and as individuals, the time for reflection & response following the message was quite effective. The video ‘An Unspoken Plea’ is really well done… follow the link above and check it out!  Christy Nockels’ song ‘By Our Love’ is a BEAUTIFUL call to action for the church.

Tech stuff:
We used the same video and the same song at the end of all services, including our 8:30 traditional service.  We play our media through presentation software called Easy Worship.  For some reason, despite the fact that we had previewed the video through Easy Worship with no problems, during the 8:30 service the video glitched and restarted itself about a minute in, then ran smoothly until the last 30 seconds when it glitched and tried to start over again.  Our visual tech restarted everything before the 9:45 service, and then the video ran without problems for the remaining 2 services.  What is up with that. :)

Music stuff:
watch this brief video to get a feel for our morning.

The song that got us in trouble was “I Am Free”, which we’ve used lots and lots of times before.  It was falling flat for some reason… could have been tempo, could have just been energy levels.  Then, through just a slight mistake within the band, the song abruptly stopped before what was going to be an instrumental bridge.  Pretty sure my face made it obvious that the abruptness wasn’t planned.  There were even a few giggles from the congregation… an awkward silence… then our pastor got up and prayed, which was the next thing to happen anyway.  Sigh.  Not good not good.

We changed up our arrangement slightly, the band ran through it between services, and…..

The 11:00 service was very full, and really did include most of our high school and college students.  The songs did not fall flat at all… in fact I saw greater responses during our music than I usually do.  Why? Is it a combination of our preparedness… the congregations readiness… energy levels… expecting to be involved in worship… ? I don’t know for sure.

Let me say that I never know quite how to write about ‘things going wrong’.  Because ‘wrong’ implies that there’s a ‘right’, and most of the time what goes wrong is not moral or ethical, but technical.  Our pastor often says something like “Jesus isn’t going to fall off his throne…” when we’re grappling with decisions or issues that really aren’t absolutes.  I know a smoothly running worship experience neither makes nor breaks God’s ability to work.  But I also know that when there is a break in the flow of thought or reflection in a worship service, it can undo the work we’ve done to try to focus on God.  Because we are fragile creatures and ‘focus on God’ isn’t usually our default position.  What are your thoughts on this?

(unnecessary worship team video disclaimer: so I had already thought about having my fellow team members talk about our worship services on video today.  They’re probably thinking that I only did this because we had a wee bit of a snafu in our music set.  But it simply ain’t so.  I will pull out the camera again soon and prove it.)

This post is a part of Sunday Setlists.  Check it out!

15 thoughts on “Worship Reflections 08.09.09

  1. Profound video. We used it at the end of a service during our missions focus month last year…a good send out video! There is a youth version also.

    Blessings!

  2. I can think of at least 3 specific, non-salvageable train wrecks where we just had to stop and regroup or start over. Looking back each time was incredibly hilarious after the fact. But at the time it’s happening, it’s mortifying!

    Thanks for keeping it real!

  3. One of the many reasons I’m going to hold out as long as I can before we regularly shoot video during our services. :)

    Sorry to hear about your similar moment. There’s just something so sad and awful when a big, huge sound comes to a premature halt.

    I think Jesus laughs when this happens, actually.

  4. Love these vids, though – like Gary – I have an unexplainable desire to see the train wreck itself. Sorry to be so vulgar…

    We had one of those recently in a big ol’ concert…during the amazing awesomeness of Lincoln Brewster’s “Let Your Glory Shine”. We got lost in the massive guitar solo and just…stopped…

    The vocalist yelled “ONE – TWO – THREE – FOUR!” and somehow we found our footing to the end, but it sort of fizzled out, too.

    Sigh. Praise Jesus. He’s full of grace.

  5. I am so laughing right now because these tragic moments happen…they just do. So, we have to (HAVE TO) acknowledge the brick wall, laugh, fix it and try it again. There is no other way.

    Still, as the one who sees the whole while leading the parts, it feels so wrong — even though intellectually we know it’s not that bad. I guess that’s one good thing about the revolving door of Sundays — A new one is just around the corner!

    Forget the fly on the wall — I would pay good money to hear the voice in your head at that moment. :)And…did I know/remember that Brad plays guitar? Very cool.

    • The voice in my head at that moment was actually quiet. like, speechless, I think. It was just so… you know… sudden. :) Thanks for your commiseration.

      Yes, Brad has been playing guitar with us for a while. He’s quite good, and always brings a hilarious spin to everything.

  6. When I talk with my band about things “not going right”, it’s usually in the context of missing an opportunity. There are times when I feel like God is offering us an opportunity to draw people into worship, but because of us having our heads down in the music, or being distracted by something else, we miss it.

    He still does his work of course, but you just have then sense that there was more to be had if we could have been more aware.

    As always, you do a great job with these. Nice to meet your team.

  7. Easy Worship is a tricky program. I like it for its ease of use but when it comes to videos it is incredibly inconsistent.

    I love your “high school kids” realization. We have a large group of them that consistently fill our first couple rows week after week and they make it MUCH easier to lead worship, especially the high energy tunes.

    • we haven’t had this specific problem with Easy Worship before. It’s a bit of a disappointment if it’s going to be randomly unreliable.

      yep, we really miss the high school kids when they’re gone! thanks for the comment.

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