Focus on the Worship, Not the Music

I just attended a 3 day event in my church, with a 30min worship session each evening. Worship, music-wise, on the first two days were ok because several members from the youth music ministry were involved, but none of the musicians on the third day were in the music team, and did not have as much experience. This showed noticeably, as, for example, the band wasn't very tight, and did not control the dynamics very well.

But the worship itself was the most intimate and intense as compared to the previous 2 sessions, for the congregation. It isn't surprising though, because over the past two days, people were confessing and repenting of their sins, opening their hearts to God's voice, and getting right with God again.

This reminded me that worship must be God-led. Good worship doesn't happen because the band or the music is 'cool'; rather, good worship occurs because the worshiper loves and seeks the Lord.

Many of us serve in our church's music team, and we must remember, during rehearsals, not to focus too much on the music, but to focus on the worship instead. Instead of using the music to induce a sense of worship, the music should be aligned to what the worshiper would like to sing to express his or her feelings and praise to God. In other words, we play good music not because we need good music to be able to worship, but because we want to give God the best kind of worship we can give.

In a way, the music doesn't matter as much as we might like to think, because music is an expression of worship, and not a crutch we need to worship. I help out with my church's deaf service often, and they don't use music, of course. Worship comprises mainly of reading and signing song lyrics, and the worship is as engaging and intimate as any with music!

Lastly, musicians often focus too hard on their instruments, rather than on worshiping. Try to worship while you're playing, and let your playing be an extension of the worship in your heart, rather than a set of notes that you've practiced for. It may be hard to do so, thus you need to practice hard at home, and not overexert yourself during service.


Anonymous said...

Does this fit into this messege as well. It does not matter how many times you have played a worship song?

gerald said...

i agree with kenny.. you must practice all the songs hard at home.. even before practices so that you will be excellent and at the same time you could worship freely and at ease..

God also focuses on excellence.. so do your best..

i give credit for kenny's blog.. this one helps our youth services a lot..

Anonymous said...

It is definitely hard for music ministers, especially those who formerly and currently played with secular groups and are very proficient in their instruments, to actually know if they are worshiping or rather simply playing for the sake of playing. But even though, God has made ways to overcome this. It is better to train, esp. spiritually, people interested to be in the ministry before actually putting them into the worship band so as to see their dedication and if they are willing to sacrifice and if they can be humble.

Eduardo said...

I compleatly understand and agree what you guys are saying. I'm a song leader myself, and when I practice with the band we start with a word of prayer and I make sure that in the prayer I say that what we're doing is to praise God and not ourselves, and I do that specially as a reminder to myself. After that practice becomes a whole worship experience, and its just awesome.

Justin said...

Aweomse Kenny, I agree with everything you said. Practicing at home, or being sure that every aspect is covered during practice at church is vital. Its hard for a new musician especially to focus on God when you have to focus on the song that you are playing. As you practice and become more proficient though it becomes a lot easier and you often don't have to think about what you are playing anymore, it just comes. Another thing, you are playing for God, not for the congregation. It is your audience of one. The biggest problem I think for musucians and something we need to watch out for is pride. Do your best to not be prideful when playing because know its not of yourself, but it is a gift from God, and when pride sets in it opens the door to disaster.

username05 said...

hey Kenny, do you know the band living sacrifice?

what can you say about their style of worshiping God?

Danny said...

In our church, the worship leader prays and asks God which song God wants us to play. Sometimes during worship, God might cut off 2 of the last songs or skip certain song. The worship leader really needs to be in tune with God and let the worship be spirit-driven.

When you enter a time of worship, don't just sing the song but sing your own song (during instrumental or something). That will show God's working in the worship service. It makes people want to seek and love God with their own songs.