Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Random Snippets: Spontaneous Worship, Self-Discipline, Song Choice



///Spontaneous Worship///

(Psalm 33:3)
Sing a new song of praise to him; play 
skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.

(Ephesians 5:19)
speaking to one another with psalms, 
hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and 
make music from your heart to the Lord, 

This was something I did but that I didn't know what to call at the time. When I led worship at a church at age 18 the Holy Spirit really became my teacher. I could feel Him so near instructing me how and what to sing. Suddenly between songs He would just take over and new lyrics would burst forth without me even thinking. The Pastor called it "prophetic worship" because sometimes I would prophecy through song but the band and I would just say, "lets flow." I compare these moments to a stream of running water because there was no stopping what the Holy Spirit was doing and it was a continuous overflow of new songs. It wasn't until last year that I first heard the term "Spontaneous Worship," when discovering Bethel Church in Redding, California. The Spirit connected me to something that I'd never heard of. He thught me what made Him happy. During our congregational worship times it's great to get a perfect sound and to have beautiful voices on cue but...the Holy Spirit could care less about that if we're not letting His voice be heard. He knows what's in the Father's heart and if we're ignoring Him in our churches then we'll be stuck in an old revelation when God always has a new one to give. Spontaneous Worship isn't something you practice because it comes from soaking in God's presence and worshiping him in spirit and in truth. It's a new song that isn't rehearsed that bursts from The Spirit's heart, to yours, and then to those around you. Many churches don't allow this because they seek an "order" but God's order looks nothing like ours. I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit move the way He wants to through you. There have been musicians, pastors, and singers that I have worked with that just don't want to have anything to do with this because they seek their version of perfection, just like there's those who's spirit's discern what comes from God and respond to the atmosphere. The Lord has given me prudence to know when and where but my heart's desire is that first off, as worshipers, we can all plug into what the Spirit of God is doing. David constantly talked about singing a new song to The Lord in his Psalms because he knew the difference between sitting and writing to moving and reacting at the time at hand. He didn't have time to write during a battle between the Philistines but he could begin to praise his God right where he was by sing out, "Praise be to The Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war!" You'd be surprised to know that many of the songs that you hear now started off as spontaneous songs during a worship service or during a car ride. So I encourage you to let your spirit sing on stage and off. Let the Holy Spirit move through you, let Him be your teacher.


///Self-Discipline///

(2 Timothy 1:6-7) 
This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift 
God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has 
not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of 
power, love, and self-discipline.

You have been given the power by The Holy Spirit to discipline yourself. It doesn't matter how old you are because God's Spirit is given to anyone who responds to His call. Whether you sing, play an instrument, dance, or minister all together discipline is something that we all need to enforce in our lives. Discipline is what has now accustomed me to vocalize each time before I sing to maintain healthy vocal chords and what helps a guitar player play certain chords and memorize a musical scale. If you're like me going through preparation, through a psalmist school, or a ministry school then you know this: you will only learn what you practice. Without making yourself practice, your gift will never reach it's full potential. God always has more to teach us but we've got to be responsible and apply what has been taught to us.

*Discipline- training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character

Take advantage of all the training being thrown at you.


///Song Choice///

Just like there are numerous stars in the sky, there are numerous songs out there to chose from. We each have our own style when it comes to the way we choose music: some of us popcorn choose (so not recommended), others go check out popular songs and go for that, some choose songs that they like or that they think the congregation/audience will like. So what's the best way? I love this topic, I love talking about this. Here are some tips that I've learned and that I've been taught, so I share!

  1. Pray. Ask God what He wants to tell His people. Ask Him how to guide his people because each service is different and God will always have something new and specific to say.
  2. Observe. When you get to the place that you're getting ready to sing, play, or perform at look at the people. Are they sad? Borred? Fired up? If the congregation or crowd looks depressed then you want to gear more toward starting with praise songs that will get them meditating on God's power or faithfullness. If the congregation or crowd looks on fire already (which is every worship leader's/minister's dream) then take them deeper with praise or worship songs that reflect giving more of ourselves to God or songs that bring everyone together to cry out to God as one.
  3. Message in Action. Now that you've prayed and God has reveled to you what He wants to say and you've observed the specific crowd, act on it. Though you may not understand why, the Holy Spirit knows exactly why so just be obedient and you'll see the fruit.
  • I think song lists are a good guide but once we cling tight to it's order we tend to brush off anything that's not on the list. So be prepared to let the Holy Spirit surprise you and your obedience will have its reward.
  • Don't choose songs because you love them. You need to be in constant connection during the week with God so that the days you give you truly give. Choose the songs that the people need.
  • Respect the authority no matter what, even if you know better because God's anointed are protected but just like David was anointed he also recognized King Saul's anointing by refusing to take revenge out on him. Pray for your leaders but if their vision is truly not matching up with what God is constantly revealing to you then decide whether or not you want to continue with a vision that you don't share. Can to be together if they are not in accord?
  • Express your worship to God with your music and gifts as if each time were the last time here on this earth.

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