People Of The Wild Hallelujah

Why A Few Thousand Year Old Word Has Power Today

The year is 1984, and George Orwell’s dystopian future has not come to pass. A 50-year old musician’s career has reached an all-time low. A song he is about to write, rooted in a word that is thousands of years old, will rise like a phoenix from his creative ashes – flying right into the popular consciousness of a generation.

He is sitting on the floor of his hotel room in New York City, clad in only his underwear, with numerous lyric-filled notebooks strewn around him. He is banging his head on the floor as he struggles to complete a song for which he has 80 draft verses; a song that has been stuck inside him for at least two years.

Weekly Worship Team Devotional: Are You Ready To Risk Again?

The Weekly Worship Team Devotional is designed for reading before a rehearsal, forwarding via email to your team, or sharing with your tagged team on Facebook.

ARE YOU READY TO RISK AGAIN?

From John 6 in The Message. “The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.” (Jesus knew from the start that some weren’t going to risk themselves with him…).’”

DEVOTIONAL

What would you risk everything for? Most of us have risked money, reputation, or our future at one time or another. We are compelled to take risks because we believe that something better is waiting on the other side. We take chances because, ultimately, we believe that moving forward is better than just staying where we are.

As we lead others in worship, there are times to do what is familiar, and times to take risks. For example, you are in the middle of a song that the congregation has sung 100 times before. As you near the end of a chorus, you sense that you should play it one more time, only this time, instrumentally. The band engages, the music rises, and a Scripture comes to mind. You begin to sing a phrase from it, and make it a spontaneous, musical prayer. You try something new, something small, and see the results. Then, later, you ask each other and those leading the gathering, “Did that work? Did people get it? Did they respond? If so, what did we learn? If not, what can we learn from taking that risk?”

A worship band that doesn’t take risks here and there may not be learning what it means to listen to the Spirit’s leading in a worship set. I’m not suggesting spontaneity should be the main portion of our sets, but that we can cultivate openness to what God wants to do through the music. The higher the levels of trust in our team, the better we will do at risking together (and debriefing is a good habit to get into). Sure, we can just play the songs, and let the songs lead. We don’t always need to embellish everything. But sometimes God has something to say in the set – and we want to be responsive to it rather than just being locked into only what we’ve always done before.

TEAM PRAYER

Lord, you have something to say to this community as we worship. Help us to be sensitive to what your Spirit is doing as we gather. Teach us to let the songs lead, but also to listen to your voice so we can respond.

::

About The Author: Dan Wilt is the creator of WorshipTraining’s Essentials In Worship Video Training Course for worship leaders and teams. His worship leadership blog serves up weekly tools and team encouragements at DanWilt.com.

Weekly Worship Team Devotional: What Is On Your Spiritual Business Card?

photo courtesy of www.mattfrise.com

[The Weekly Worship Team Devotional is designed for reading before a rehearsal, forwarding via email to your team, or sharing with your tagged team on Facebook]

WHAT IS ON YOUR SPIRITUAL BUSINESS CARD?

From Luke 3 in The Message. “After all the people were baptized, Jesus was baptized. As he was praying, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, came down on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: ‘You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.’”

DEVOTIONAL

People have many reasons for creating and carrying business cards. They usually designate something about that person’s identity and what they would like to be known for, be it the kind of work they do, or the way they like to express themselves. On every business card, you will find a person’s name, and then something written underneath it. What is written underneath may be a job title, a role, or a creative way of expressing a person’s sense of purpose.

I like to imagine that we all have “spiritual business cards.” Imagine your name written on your spiritual business card, and what the design might be like. Is it sleek and well-designed, or crumpled up and haphazardly laid out? Are the fonts clean and smooth, or are they rough, big, and loud?

Now, imagine you see your name on the card. What have you written beneath it – i.e. what words have you used to describe your sense of identity? I know that I, and others like me, take our spiritual business cards every day and write on them things like “worship leader,” “songwriter,” “vocalist,” “sound tech,” or “center of the musical universe.” We even may write “Mother,” “Father,” or some other role in our home or ministry life.

I believe that, every evening, God’s takes our spiritual business cards into His keeping, as our heads hit the pillow, and does some editing. After all, they were first designed by Him – we didn’t start from scratch. Where we have scribbled our roles, titles, and dreams, He lovingly erases each one to uncover the words that he knows belong under our name.

All it says is “Son” or “Daughter.”

You belong to God. Your identity, and my identity, begins and ends here. The rest is a privilege.

TEAM PRAYER

Lord, make me aware that today each one of us is Your son or daughter. When we begin to root our identity anywhere else, we ask you to make us aware and draw us back to this simple, eternal truth. In Jesus’ name we come, amen.

::

About The Author: Dan Wilt is the creator of WorshipTraining’s Essentials In Worship Video Training Course for worship leaders and teams. His worship leadership blog serves up weekly tools and team encouragements at DanWilt.com.

Weekly Worship Team Devotional: Worship Is Collaboration With The Congregation

[The Weekly Worship Team Devotional is designed for reading before a rehearsal, forwarding via email to your team, or sharing with your tagged team on Facebook]

WORSHIP IS COLLABORATION WITH THE CONGREGATION

From 1 Corinthians 14:26 in The Message. “When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight.”

DEVOTIONAL

The next time you and I step to on a stage, stand behind a microphone, strap on our instrument, or rehearse our hearts out – we are only getting closer to achieving half of what is about to happen in the room during that worship set. The reality is, unless the community we lead in worship engages, finds their language of prayer in the songs and liturgies presented, and offers themselves to the community worship experience happening in the room that day, then our worship expression is only a show.

That is why we choose songs that gather the community in one voice, familiar songs seasoned with new songs on occasion. That is why we create for our communities, yet do so in a way that is submitted to a higher goal than just our own self-expression. This is why we can step on a stage to lead, or step off to serve in other ways for a time. We are collaborating with the community. Then community is then, ideally, collaborating with the Spirit. This is when all the gifts of worship truly flow.

When their song rises, to the tune of the music we lead, and amplify, and sing – then we are all collaborating in the kind of worship that the Father seems to seek. Recognize that we are collaborating with our congregation in worship, and leave the show to another place and time.

TEAM PRAYER

Lord, help us to see the beautiful collaboration that is our community in worship. Help us serve with our instruments, musicianship, and technical equipment, the shared worship experience going on in the room. Teach us to serve with our gifts and talents, rather than making our self-expression the motive behind what we do. In Jesus’ living name we come, amen.

::

About The Author: Dan Wilt is the creator of WorshipTraining’s Essentials In Worship Video Training Course for worship leaders and teams. His worship leadership blog serves up weekly tools and team encouragements at DanWilt.com.

Weekly Worship Team Devotional – Create Something For Others

[This week’s Worship Team Devotional is designed for reading before a rehearsal, forwarding via email to your team, or sharing with your tagged team on Facebook]

CREATE SOMETHING FOR OTHERS

From Genesis 1 in The Message. “First this: God created the Heavens and Earth – all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.”

DEVOTIONAL

The very first verse of the Bible tells us something about the way God works in the world that should cause us to sit up and take notice. God creates. From nothing, He creates. For something, He creates. God is about making things, but those things He makes always have a purpose. At the beginning of time, God creates all things, in part, for you and for me. Every shining star, every dancing rain drop – it all started from Love.

When we approach our God-given creativity, we do so as those who reflect God’s image. Unlike God, we can only make something out of something He has already allowed to run through our hands, our eyes, or our hearts. He starts the creative process in us. Why? To do what He does. He creates to show love, and to build others. We can take what seems to be insignificant to the world, and we make it into something substantial. Just like God has done with us.

Look for the hidden gems, in people and situations, that God is inviting you to touch with your creativity.

TEAM PRAYER

Lord, let me see the seemingly worthless things today, with the eyes of my Creator. I want to join you in recreating people through the creative work of my hands. Teach me to create something in response to what You’ve done in my life. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

::

About The Author: Dan Wilt is the creator of WorshipTraining’s Essentials In Worship Video Training Course for leaders and teams. His worship leadership blog serves up weekly tools and team encouragements at DanWilt.com.