Saturday, February 18, 2012

Redeemer's Worship Team - The Heart of Worship Comes First

Years ago I attended a worship conference led by some well-known worship leaders. One of them said, in a seminar, that they would let any musician get on the platform and play with them. I (and some musical friends who were with me) looked at one another with a "Are you kidding me?!" look.

That's "worship-team-as-evangelism," and strikes me as having similarities to "missionary dating." Or, it's the "warm musical body theory" approach; viz., "We really need a guitar player. There's John - he's a great guitar player. John wants to be on the platform "performing." Let's invite him to do it."

That's not for me. Pastorally, I have real problems with doing it that way. In the first place I want our W-Team people to be themselves worshipers. I want them to be team players. I want them to share the vision of what we leaders are embracing and get behind us and lead before us. None of this, ultimately, is about "performance"; it's all about presence (of God).

I love the way our Worship Leader (Holly Benner) and our Worship team are now walking in this. We are cultivating the deeper values of a worshiper's heart. Tonight, for example, Linda and I are looking forward to meeting at Mark's home (one of our bass players). Kellie Robinson will facilitate, and focus us on the core worship-theme of "Intimacy with God." We'll bring our journals, pens and bibles. We'll spend time sharing with each other what God is doing in our lives, praying for each other and hanging out together. There's not one of us who knows enough about intimacy with God. If you have people on your W-Team that think they are beyond all of this, lovingly release them.

We meet together without hiding behind our intruments or microphones to get to know one another and be more greatly known by God. Without that, Sunday mornings can feel like just another "gig."

Holly has asked our W-Team members to participate in my 6-week Spiritual Formation class. And they are - thank you! Tonight I am so looking forward to hearing what God is doing in us as we are intensifying our prayer lives.

That's the stuff that lies at the heart of worship. All of us at Redeemer will be better for it.