Thursday, August 10, 2006


In the previous post, I referred to the music we experienced at Church Visit #2 as "phenomenal." Let me explain a few things.

I am a lifelong musician. I love all kinds of music. I know the differences among excellent, good, fair, bad and bodaciously horrible "music."

I had just blissfully enjoyed three full days of great live music at Spirit West Coast - Thursday thru Saturday - before I participated at this church on Sunday. Saturday night had been a stupendous night with Matt Redman, David Crowder and the Newsboys. So - for me to characterize the music at that church as "phenomenal" has to mean something, no?

Here's the deal.

1. They had an outstanding organist. OK, wow. Let me just say that I have been a party to wholesale efforts to get the organs out of our churches! But of course that was because in the churches of which I have been a part, the organ is no way, no how used in any way even closely resembling what I saw, heard and felt last Sunday. Whoa.

2. They had a drummer and a guitarist. A simple rhythm section, but they added more than you'd think. No orchestra. No strings. No horns. Two unassuming guys keeping the beat and bringing their best to Jesus.

3. They had a choir consisting of six women and two men. The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers should sound so good. No, really; they were technically "okay" but their SPIRIT was through the roof.

4. They sang HYMNS! Gasp! That's right. The closest they came to singing a "praise song" was "Because He Lives." (I am NOT a fan of making a distinction between "hymns" and "choruses" and I am SOOO tired of hearing about "contemporary praise and worship.") In a few cases, they sang their hymns ("Amazing Grace" and "I Need Thee Every Hour") more slowly than I have heard them sung IN MY LIFE EVER! but it was purposeful and glorious and beautiful and indescribably sweet.

5. The congregation were not a bunch of logbumps. They were totally INTO IT! The music was not a performance, it was an offering of praise and adoration.

So. The point: Although the music at church this past Sunday was not as spectacular as what I had been listening to (dancing to, singing along with, applauding, worshipping during) at Spirit West Coast, it managed to outclass it by the simple act of being utterly heartdriven.



Spiritual StarScaper said...

It's amazing how the Presence of God can be in almost any type of worship as long as those worshipping are doing so in Spirit and in truth - heartfelt praise welcomes the Holy Spirit into a place! It isn't the worship, it's the worshippers.

I personally usually have a harder time worshipping to hymns because of the older English and how they disassociate the meaning from the younger generation (you can't mean the words if you don't understand the words)and because they mostly sing "about God" rather than "to God". Take a bunch of people like me who have a harder time with hymns and stick them in that worship service, and we just might not have had the same experience you did. How awesome God is - that He sees the heart, and how cool that the majority in that church were sincere in praising God!

AndyM said...

First - three posts in one day. I am so happy to know you!

Second - i love the way you describe that service. Makes me want to go to a three-hour service that doesn't feel like that. I am glad that God moving to send you to the places He needs you to go.

Third - here's something that most "modern P&W" churches don't really get. Just b/c something is old, doesn't make it bad. God moves where God moves - not always where we think that He will or want Him to.

I ask for God's blessing on your ministry and your family.