Christian Living, Faith

The Sound of Heaven

A good friend of mine in life and ministry, Andrew Duncan, posted these thoughts on his Facebook a few days ago. I truly appreciate Andrew, and am blessed to be included in the long list of musicians and worship leaders he has ministered with. Besides his involvement in music, Andrew travels and speaks, and God follows him wherever he goes, even onto the Facebook chat room. Be encouraged and challenged by his thoughts on “The Sound of Heaven.”

(P.S. Thanks, Andrew, for letting me repost this here.)

So I’ve been in the Kingdom now for almost a decade and I must say it’s been a sweet ride. With playing in various and mixed denominations there’s been a consistent topic that keeps coming up. The topic that we aren’t supposed to be receiving during worship, we are supposed to be giving God everything we’ve got. To a small degree I agree; on the most part, forget it.

In order for proper Levites to help the Holy Spirit lead others into worship, we first must create the musical atmosphere that Heaven can say amen to. If this atmosphere is missed and an order of service takes precedence over the spirit moving, we have not done the proper duties as Levitical worshippers.

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Christian Living, Ministry

Worship Followers

I watched a movie this afternoon about a small military unit trapped under enemy fire. When the officer in charge refused to follow the advice of a subordinate, she soon found herself in the middle of a mutiny. While she regained control of the unit, it wasn’t until after she was wounded, and her most trusted man joined ranks with the mutineers.

Afterwards I was going about my own business, getting ready for work, when my mind started to think about church and other matters floating through my head. (You don’t want to look in there, trust me.) I think that because I’ve been thinking about my next worship leading schedule, my thoughts were suddenly stuck on the worship track. This phrase came to mind, and I think it is something to think about for churches who have more than one worship leader on their teams.

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Worship at Christmastime

We have crossed into December, and the countdown to Christmas is officially underway in our house. Our tree was standing for over a week without ornaments until last night. It’s a prelit tree, but it looked a little odd with the middle section blacked out for several nights in a row. That’s one of the issues you run into when you have a lot of ornaments that plug in. Last night we finally added the ornaments.

My wife has found time to add little things all around the house. She bought some new LED candlelights online for each of the windows. Some faux brick cardboard lines the walls of a sitting room, trimmed neatly with puffy white “snow” and all of our stockings. And we hung some paper snowflakes from the kitchen ceiling.

This Sunday, though, I get to do something I rarely have the opportunity to anymore: lead worship. It probably seems silly that a guy who wrote a book on worship suddenly finds himself out of the role. But part of the role I do fill now, as assistant pastor, requires filling in where other needs are, since we have a number of worship leaders in the church.

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Laws of Worship Leading | Dynamic

When was the last time you attended or listened to an orchestra? I think I’ve only had the privilege of attending a professional performance twice in my life thus far. (I’m guessing the high school orchestra doesn’t really count.)

The first time, I remember that we were so close that I couldn’t really see the stage at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, MN. I can recall being inside the building, though. The Fall of 1994 was the last, attending the performance as part of a collegiate music theory course I enrolled in that semester. This time we were up on the third tier in the theatre house, looking down on the stage and the vast audience below us.

I realize that for most of us, attending a symphony performance is a bit of a stretch. Why is it, though, that we who seek to lift our songs to praise to Almighty God overlook the musical masters who sought, rather often, to do the same?

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Laws of Worship Leading | Inspiration

Most of us openly acknowledge that each congregation is different for a variety of reasons.  One of those difference that causes a multitude of problems is also one of the driving sources of conflict when we discuss the topic of worship.  This is the element of Style.

Even within a single church body style often varies from ministry to ministry, even beyond the scope of worship.  We teach Biblical truths differently from children’s church to youth group to the adult Sunday message.  Some of us use PowerPoint; some preach extemporaneously while others read their sermons; drama or video clips might be employed, or they might be considered distracting.  You’ve likely heard that the message is more important than methods used to communicate it.  As long as your message aligns with Biblical truth, the methods aren’t necessarily of importance.  Basically, you can cling to and make use of your own Style so long as you remain true to the Inspiration.

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Laws of Worship Leading | The Foundation

When we approach worship from a musical standpoint, which I take some time developing in Worship Theory, we open a sort of Pandora’s Box. At first it looks simple and easy, but in reality there are far more complications that arrive at choosing this one box and opening it, than if we had chosen a different route.

One reason for this is that the facets of music are truly innumerable, and the depth to each is nearly unfathomable. For almost as long as man has walked the earth, he has striven to express himself through music. Over the course of milennia, this has served to both deepen and broaden what music is.

When we as worship leaders stop to ponder what we’ve walked into, it should both humble and frighten us. Unfortunately, it rarely has a chance to stir either emotion for us. We’re too busy doing what we do to stop and consider what other implications there might be as we throw our hats into the musical realm.

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