We had a blast this past Sunday during worship. We had the largest group ever; it was a 12 piece group. There were six vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keys, percussion, trombone and trumpet (if you think my math is wrong, it’s because I played guitar and sang tenor). The doubled vocal parts sounded awesome! It also gave the singers a lot more freedom to worship without feeling like they had concentrate so much on their parts and they fed a lot off each other’s emotions and intensity. The horns sounded great, too, thanks in a large part to praisecharts.com where I purchased a complete arrangement of Israel Houghton’s “You Are Good.” It was a bit more challenging than the arrangements I write, but the players rose to the challenge and seemed to exude so much joy. Miss Mark on the trumpet made an especially impressive effort to play in F# and to play a lot of high parts-one gold star for the science teacher! It was such a fun time, and everyone in the group played with excitement and spirit.
So, is it irreverent to have so much fun in worship? Should we be solemn and stoic when approaching a holy God? I don’t think so at all. God’s grace is a gift that brings joy to those who receive it. Jesus characterizes the kingdom of God as a place where they “kill the fatted calf” to celebrate that those who were lost have now been found. Are there times when worship is quiet, meditative, and sober? Of course, but the quality of a person’s worship is not measured by how serious they get (or how happy). In fact, the quality of our worship is not measured by anything we do or feel, it is measured by the infinite merits of Christ. But, regardless of whether we leave worship with a quiet heart or a festive heart, the Bible says that Christians are characterized by righteousness, peace, and joy.
So, have a party on Sunday because God is good and his mercy endures forever!

  1. #1 by Renae on September 11, 2006 - 3:07 pm

    Worship rocked. That song rocked. The horns rocked. It was beautiful and awesome and far from irreverent.
    And Eliot dug it, too.

  2. #2 by heidi h. on September 11, 2006 - 9:42 pm

    Kirk! Thank you and all the team! I have to say that though I was thrilled by the bold, brassy horns, the drums, and beautiful harmonies of the worship team the entire service, my heart didn’t enter into worship completely until I took a moment in the song about “Bowing Down” to truly humble my heart before God.
    I guess all I’m trying to say is that the team can do so much to lead us in worship, but ultimately worship involves repentence and thankfulness in our hearts!
    I’m thankful for the care and craft you put into your position Kirk! Also for your humble leading in prayer…

  3. #3 by Dad on September 12, 2006 - 6:36 am

    Looks like the praise charts.com arrangement hit a home run. I also have bought Agnus Dei by Michael W Smith, and Here I am to Worship.
    I like the way you describe a 6-voice praise team’s freedom.

  4. #4 by Liz Meiners on September 17, 2006 - 1:26 am

    Funny you should write on this…just had a discussion with someone about joy and freedom to express that joy in worship. thanks for the reminder that ultimately, it’s our own heart before God that matters. Mom Meiners

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