Enter for Worship

They opened another door and the Shaker brethren stalked in on ‘tiptoe”…Open Door

That statement refers to how the Shaker men entered their ‘meeting house’ for weekly worship. It seems odd and I couldn’t find the exact reason but I would love to think that they entered this way as an act of ‘expectancy’ and ‘reverence.’

It got me thinking, ‘do we, do I make intentional steps to enter our place for worship expecting something great and with great reverence for the Almighty God that I am about to encounter?

Sure I am have been busy preparing and rehearsing for the service but do I gather myself before entering to recognize and anticipate that something special is about to happen?

The next time I enter a place of worship I probably will not enter walking on my tiptoes, but hearing about this practice has made realize I need to be more intentional about how I enter for worship.

Do you have a routine that helps you focus on God before you enter a place of worship?

Church Staff Meeting: Working Hard and Relying On God

We had some important items to discuss. 

  • recruitment of volunteers
  • update on a major project
  • communication plan to those who support the ministry

And on this meeting day we took a different approach.

As each item came to the table we got a quick update on the progress of each item and then

STOPPED: to pray and give thanks to God for how we had seen His hand at work already in each area.

  • we were ahead of last year on recruiting 
  • people were faithful in giving
  • the gospel was being presented all across our area through Backyard Kids Clubs

We then took a moment to hear the needs and get input from around the table 

  • to adequately staff all our ministries we needed more people to say ‘yes’
  • Backyard Kids Clubs had just a couple more weeks, we need to finish strong
  • we wanted to find ways to show those who support the ministry how their gifts were making an impact for the Gospel

so we

STOPPED: to pray, petition God for answers to every situation.

Confession, it is easy to work our way around the table at a staff meeting and give our ideas without stopping to ask God for guidance.

but

we are never as good as we can be, as good as God deserves when we try to do everything in our own power our own creativity…

After the prayer there was no quick miraculous answers, but we know we are trusting in the right source, God.

Ministry staff meetings, should be productive, but more than anything their should be time spent in prayer, both praise and petition.

“Setting the Stage” Part 1

The following first appeared in Let’s Worship a publication of LifeWay Church Resources.

_____________________________________________

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.” Acts 2:42

“Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the earth.” Matthew 28:19-20

Being and doing church can all be summarized in these two scriptures.

Now that you have jumped into this article and read the first few lines you are probably asking yourself; ‘what do these scriptures have to do with worship staging?’

It’s about church…about the great commission, about the public gathering and everything the worship planners and facilitators do must support both the Acts and Matthew passages. That’s why we have decided to invest in a great sound system, an effective light system, a clear and easily seen projection system that is why we decide to change the look of our stage regularly…to help make clear the message of the gospel and encourage others to engage in worship.

Changing Church Architecture

In past centuries and generations architecture was used to focus the attention of the worshiper on biblical symbols of worship: the Word, the Table and the Cross. The Table was central, the Cross prominently displayed and the outline of a cross was even used as the layout for the building itself. Those leading worship, other than when serving communion, were given places away from center stage.

There has been an evolution of worship architecture through the generations where focus is given to the center of the platform finding there the choir, and central pulpit. What led to this change was born in the revival movement of the early 1800s where God used ordained men to proclaim the truths of His Word. It is not that the men were the central focus but they were placed in the center of the stage out of necessity so that all in the room would have equal opportunity to hear.

As places of worship continued to evolve we begin to see the influence of theater. It is through this process of worship center evolutions that technology and theatrical devices were used to make sure the messenger was seen and heard.

The reality of today’s church architecture is Continue Reading…

Peace

As I was reading through Philippians 4:6-7 I was reminded of this lyric that I wrote a few years ago with a friend, Terry Welborn.

peace

You give me peace

when i let go

and let Youyosemite valley

take control of my life

You give me life

abundant life

full of grace and mercy

You gave all to me

in Your final hour

i surrender to

Your cleansing pow’r

humbly here i stand

willing to let go

so i can know Your peace.

© 2000 Backscratcher Music; Gramily Music Publishing; Smith, Michael H.

A Worship Leader’s Wish List

If you had a wish list about the worship services you attend, what would be included?

As someone who has led worship for over 30 years here are some of my wishes.

  • prayer for the worship services happens all week
  • worship participation from the congregation and those on stage is an obvious overflow of daily worship
  • worship team members arrive early for rehearsal and are prepared
  • seats will be filled 5 minutes before the service beginning.
  • you can tell by the look on their face that they are anticipating meeting God, they are already engaging with God
  • when the first song starts people automatically rise to their feet and sing…
  • when it is a song of adoration…they are singing to God and no one else
  • when it is a song of testimony…they are singing with passion so all those around believe their words.
  • when the Word of God is read there is a hushed silence of reverence
  • when the sermon is delivered everyone’s bibles or bible apps are opened and ready to take notes
  • the encouragement of corporate worship helps empower the worshipers’ week

As a church attender/member what would you add to the list?
As a staff member/worship leader what would add to the list?
As a worship team member what would you add to the list?

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