Sunday Worship Sept. 28th – The Desert

I find myself in an interesting predicament now at my church. I’m the previous Worship Leader who’s now doing Youth Ministry but still involved in the worship planning meetings we have but with a new worship leader who’s style and direction is different than mine. That’s not the difficult part. I don’t believe there is one correct style of worship that is pleasing to God. However, the rub comes from sitting in on our worship planning meeting and knowing the direction and intention of the service to come on Sunday and therefore, I have the built up excitement and giddiness that something “good is coming up” and then when it doesn’t…uh…can I say this outloud?…I feel a bit jipped. 

So here’s what happened: 

  • Open the Eyes of My Heart
  • Everlasting God
  • Sermon
  • Hungry w/ Scripture readings between the verse/choruses
  • Communion
  • Your Love oh Lord
  • Be Thou My Vision
  • I Need Thee Every Hour 

So we tossed the service around a bit this past Sunday. We wanted to create a corporate, fluid time of worship after the sermon. Psalm 63 was the focus and it was about a desire to worship God with our whole selves. The message concluded with a rallying cry, if you will, to engage in worship in a new way. Clap, move, kneel, raise hands, sing, remember, etc. with the intention of moving into an intimate setting to bring us to communion and then celebration afterwards.

…and I was distracted…

Moving in to this intimate time, the lights were full on and everything completely lit up. The music was so quiet it felt awkward to sing out. The tempo of each of the songs were all the same and only lent themselves to a reflective time of either raising your hand or kneeling. We sat, we stood, we took communion, we sat, we stood, it felt stiff and robotic.  I truly felt like the David we just read about, in the desert yearning and thirsting for God and not being satisfied. 

Rae helped me realize that I overly criticize (which I do!) and that most people didn’t pick up on anything that I had a problem with. We then remembered seeing several people raising their hands, with a few taking advantage of our kneelers as well. 

As I type this, I wonder if it’s God’s way of prodding me to think less of the things we do in worship and more of the One we worship. It’s not like that’s something I don’t know already. It’s the delicate balance of being aware of the subjective, human side of things that happen on Sunday morning and the otherly, supernatural God side of things that happen on Sunday morning. The pendulum can swing too far in either direction and disaster happens, I think I need to let me pendulum settle.

As always, check out the rest of the Carnival over at Fred’s site where all this gets started each week!


5 Responses to “Sunday Worship Sept. 28th – The Desert”

  1. September 29, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    It’s an awkward spot to be in, feeling you have to buy into something, to ‘sell’ it, when you don’t feel it. I’ve been there a few times. I would occasionally be handed a new direction I didn’t like, and be asked to ‘encourage’ my musicians to embrace the new direction. It’s always soul-searching time when that happens.

  2. September 30, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Well an update to this past Sunday, some people found it to be “great” and “the best Sunday” so not all is lost! HAHAHA. No, seriously we had our Worship Planning Meeting this morning and I’m the only one apparently who found things distracting this past Sunday. Many positive remarks and feeedback about Sunday. So, there you have it.

  3. September 30, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    It’s difficult, when you have knowledge, not to notice those things because you were trained to notice.

    My husband used to hang pictures in model homes. Now he notices every time we visit someone if their paintings are to high (usually they are). And it irritates him.

    You’ll have to be available to the new WL for wisdom, prayer, and counsel.

    But, it’s better to pray.

    When I’ve been in your position and those things are driving me mad, I stop singing and I start praying. I close my eyes, put my head down, and pray.

    I’m sure that you will benefit from that.


  4. October 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Love it! It’s hard to separate our job with out worship sometimes. I wrote about it also recently.


  5. October 1, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    I feel you. I used to be involved with worship planning at my church, and now I’m not. It’s very difficult sometimes to remember to worship, and not criticize or focus on all the things that I would have done differently.

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