Sunday, August 02, 2009

Worship Services In The Summertime

One would think that after planning and leading at least 1,500+ worship services over the past 16 years, there couldn't be anything really that "new" to experience while leading a service. Yes, I know that each service brings a different moving of the Spirit, so that is not necessarily what I am referring to.

For the past 5 Sundays, we have "presented" the worship services at my church in 5 uniquely different ways:

July 5 - String Quartet / Piano
July 12 - a Bluegrass Band
July 19 - our VBS band/team led with the choir loft full of kids
July 26 - an 80-piece orchestra on stage

then, today, we had 4 grand pianos on stage with a person at each piano + a 21-voice choir on choir risers between the pianos.

During sound check/rehearsal, I realized the (at the time painful) reality of what the congregational song set would "feel" like with ONLY? pianos playing as musical support. Well - it was weird! That had nothing to do with our pianists - they were outstanding.

We are just so used/accustomed to having a band/orchestra/drum loop or something else to help us keep time, add textures, sounds, etc... to enhance our worship.

Not today.

I told the 21-voice choir - during the congregational songs, let's make sure God hears our VOICES today!

Well, at one point in the 11:00am service, that is exactly what happened. For the first time in a long time, the wall of sound that usually fills "my space on the stage" was replaced with a wall of sound from the room - I could hear the entire room of people singing!! I know - what a concept.

I don't write this to whine or criticize. We have one of the finest church orchestras anywhere, and I wouldn't trade them for anything, but I was reminded of something very important today - we need to hear people sing their praises to God as much as we need to be accompanied and supported with incredible musicians who are equally offering their praises to God.

So - for those of you who felt awkward this morning or that something "just wasn't right" or "I couldn't feel the beat" - it was more than OK - in fact, it was least for today....

wait til next week!!