30 November 2015

5th Sunday Worship

When people tweet about it on Sundays and tag their church or worship team I often wonder what makes for a brilliant/amazing worship service/experience.

Yesterday we the worship team at our church were publicly thanked in the service by the minister for the worship. This is as rare as a month with five Sundays.

There’s not a particular formula we follow to get a 'good' result. We put in the practice as we do during most weeks and through warming up on Sunday mornings. 

We are all unpaid amateurs who love Jesus and love music as much as each other (work out what I did there.)

We have a fairly strong core of rhythm and bass most weeks. The music is mainly led from the keyboard and we three keyboard players have different styles. Within the group we have different ideas about; what we like; what works and doesn’t; songs that we like that don’t get picked; songs that we don’t like as much that get picked just a little too often.

My actual personal preparation that I do when I’m on the rota to lead, is for an hour or two on the Saturday:

  • play through all the songs, partly about word familiarity and partly muscle memory exercise*
  • work out and finalise how the songs in the first set might link together musically if we’ve not already done it in the week
  • think about instrumentation, particularly if there are strengths and or weaknesses among the players on the rota
  • drink in the words, which is often a deeply personal act of worship and prayer and nearly always for me more meaningful than Sunday itself
I can honestly say I didn’t spend ages praying when I woke up yesterday morning. And as more often than not we were a little late leaving the house for church to get there for the time I’d asked everyone else to be there. My left ear was a little blocked and I forgot my glasses too (*lack of glasses is where the muscle memory practice really kicks in.)

And so I will continue to say it's something of a mystery how things turn out.

The majority of the time we turn up, do our stuff, and someone might say ‘thank you for the worship’ if they are stuck next to you in the coffee queue after the service or if the minister has done a ‘be thankful’-type message.

If we had a prayer/preparation formula that we followed it would cease to be about God. And God doesn’t actually need us to do the work of corporate worship, but He wants us to.

Not a deep piece. Random musings. Just musician, writing here and recording thanks.

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