I'm Hoping for More Than Just Singing
The title may be a little bit confusing considering my position as a worship leader. I read so many things that have to do with people singing at church and trust me, I believe that is SO IMPORTANT!
All I am trying to say is that the congregation singing is NOT my number one priority as I prepare and lead on a Sunday morning.
It is important that we sing. God specifically commands us to sing over 50 times in the Bible. So I'm not trying to downplay it right now.
But singing is not the end goal.
Here Are the Things I'm Praying For Us Each Week:
Engage God in Community
I'm praying for you to engage with God in community when we gather. Yes I want you to engage with the Lord personally but we have lost the "US"ness of the worship gathering in our society. Growing up I heard this prayer often "God bring revival and let it begin in me." What if we start praying for God to let it begin in US?
Even Moses understood this in Exodus when God was done with the people of Israel. God was willing to bless Moses and be with him specifically, but Moses begs "If you don't go with US don't send us away."
Formation Over Time
As I pray through and choose songs for a worship gathering (especially in my local church context) I'm thinking about our formation as a faith family over time.
I'm praying that Sunday morning is not the only time you are engaging with God or even thinking about him. I'm hoping you are singing throughout the week. I'm hoping that we have pointed to Jesus in such a way that you are driven to the Scriptures everyday.
When I face struggles, temptations, trials I usually have Scripture and Songs pop into my head almost immediately.
Sing today what you want your church to believe in five years. - Bill Johnson
Singing is foundational in our formation! God designed it that way. That's why it is so important to sing songs on Sunday grounded and saturated in Scripture (another post for another day).
I believe it is crucial for us to sing songs even when we don't "feel like it." I believe it is important to press into the tension of singing "I Surrender All" at the same time knowing there are areas that you probably haven't surrendered to God.
I am praying through and choosing songs that will prayerfully help you on Monday and not just excite you on Sunday.
My encouragement to any worship leader is to not think about what is popular right now and the newest song that was released. My encouragement is to consider the people you lead. Pray daily for them. Seek the Lord and listen to him about what songs you need to sing. Your job is to pastor people not just sing songs.
My encouragement to those who are not on stage leading on a Sunday morning. Sing! Sing with joy! Sing with Thankfulness! Sing with everything you have on Sunday morning! But more than anything set your attention and affections on Jesus. Come wanting to hear from God. Want more than just good music and good sermons on a Sunday for your life. I hope for those at Chapin UMC you think a lot more about Jesus because of what/how we lead each week on stage.