Worship Spontaneity

What do you think about this statement:

In one service I attended, their printed program read concerning the Order of Service – “subject to the Holy Spirit”.

Here’s another one:

We get so locked into our agenda, that if the Holy Spirit wanted to do something different, it would ruin our whole “worship” service!

This line of thinking is totally foreign to my cauliflower-like Lutheran ears. My reaction to statements like these is that the Holy Spirit was already involved in the planning that went into the worship service in the first place and is thankfully present in worship whether we leave room for Him or not. As a general rule, I would have to say that I am not a fan of planned worship spontaneity. Call me a dinosaur, a hymn crank, a stand-up sit-down, an intrepid, a liturgical lemon; that’s me. There is enough spontaneity in our services without having to leave room for it, it just happens naturally.

“God Himself is present, Let us now adore Him, and with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple, all within keep silence, humbly kneel in deepest reverence.
He alone, on His throne, is our God and Savior, praise His name forever!”
– Gerhard Tersteegen

The Spice of Life!

Paul new that variety is the spice of life!

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  – Eph 5:19,20

But sometimes we forget.  So he said it again:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  – Col 3:16

We need musical variety so our worship doesn’t become routine, stale and boring.

Did you now that we share the gift of music with angels?  It says in Rev 5:13

“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

So sing to the Lord a new song this Sunday!

The Limited

We are so limited.  We have speed limits, spending limits, credit limits, some people shop at a place called “The Limited”, we even have Limited Liability Corporations (LLC). If they aren’t liable for the products that they put into people’s hands then who is?God is not like this. He is just so unlimited in everything He does!

Unlimited power
Unlimited sovereignty
Unlimited love
Unlimited might
Unlimited perception
Unlimited resources
Unlimited abilities
Unlimited grace
Unlimited wisdom
Unlimited care
Unlimited knowledge
Unlimited mercies

The list goes on and on.  It is in fact limitless.

I cannot wait to see “The Unlimited One” face-to-face, but in the meantime, I make the best of this limited world with my limited abilities.

Thoughts on Christian Concerts and Musical Style

Attending a Christian concert can be a really good time and an uplifting experience but it is not meant to be a replacement for attending a church worship service because we need to be participants and not just spectators.

As a church musician, my goal is not to copy what I hear at a concert because I am not there to entertain, I am there to serve and it’s a huge difference. The most important piece is not the sound quality or how well I play my instrument; it’s how people are being fed God’s truths and given the opportunity to join in praise as we sing together. And for this reason, no one really cares if I make a mistake. In fact, the people in the pews are like family to me. They are not supposed to be musical critics. They are worshipers.

But we are sinners and that means that we sometimes get critical even to the point of deciding what style and what instruments God prefers. I often wonder if God really cares much about musical styles because styles come and go like the wind. I am however sure that He cares about the hearts of those that make and those that sing the music. It is after all music that gives us a language and a vocabulary of engagement with God that is pleasing and beautiful.

In the end, we are all servants united by a common purpose and we are not defined or divided by style.

Transformed into His Image!

This is a great way to read the Bible, with awe and as if God is talking to you! Because He is!

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,  (He is in me!)

there is freedom. (for this I am thankful)

And we all,  (this of course includes me)

who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, (I don’t have to veil my face as even Moses once did)

are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory,  (Is he really talking about me here? This is awesome!)

which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (Incredible!)

– 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

If you come to God’s Word with an attitude of academia, thinking that you need to dissect it, parse it, learn it, or sit in judgment of it, then the pages of the book will be closed to you; you won’t understand them. But if you come as a child, impressed by everything, not thinking you know the answers, but with a spirit of wonder and discovery, then the book will begin to speak volumes to you. – Source Unknown

Steven Brown
Author of “Lifestyle Worship – Poems, Prayers and Ministry Resources”

A Prayer to Multiply Your Faith

“How grateful we should be that faith exists.”

help me to:
make every effort to add goodness to my faith; 
and to goodness, knowledge; 
and to knowledge, self-control; 
and to self-control, perseverance; 
and to perseverance, godliness; 
and to godliness, mutual affection; 
and to mutual affection, love. 
– based on 2 Peter 1:5-7

A Toolbox for Worship Leaders, Pastors and Musicians


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