October 7, 2009
I’m going to spend some time thinking about what’s important for worship leading at Trinity. I could list tons of things, but I want to keep it simple and determine this morning what is most important in our worship leadership at Trinity. I am most edified and encouraged by the team of worship leaders that I have – leading our children, youth and adults throughout the Redlands and Pass campuses. I can summarize it in this way: our emphasis is corporate, our ethos is humility, and our sound is current.
1. We emphasize the corporate meeting with God and doing that part well at Trinity. While God certainly meets and speaks to us individually and we personally experience God within the worship service, our primary focus is the corporate experience, celebrating our great God as his people, on his mission, together. We are a family. Worship within the body of Christ, the church, is corporate in nature; it is a “together” thing. To that end, our worship is:
God-focused – we seek to put all the spotlight on God. We major on the wonderful character of our God and humbly bring ourselves into the picture only within that context. (As opposed to our songs being all about us.) Example: Everlasting God by Brenton Brown
Christ & Gospel centered – We revel in the gospel of Jesus Christ! Namely that Christ died for our sins, was buried and then rose again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our salvation through Christ is the source of our greatest joy and thanksgiving in worship. It is the common thread unites us “together” as God’s children, transcending and diminishing generational, economic and racial barriers.
Example: O, For a Thousand Tongues by David Crowder Band
Spirit-filled – We acknowledge the presence of the Spirit within each of his people and declare in our songs a deep desire to experience his fullness. As leaders, we realize that the Holy Spirit leads us as we plan the worship set as well as while we lead the people he has brought together before us. He also prepares the hearts of God’s people to receive from His Word and to respond appropriately within and beyond the worship service. Example: Consuming Fire by Tim Hughes
Scripture-inspired – our songs and other programming is Scripturally based and so is our leadership. Our emotional response to God springs forth from our understanding and declaration of the life-changing truth of his Word. Our worship programming is subservient to and complementary to the teaching of God’s Word. Example: When I Survey by Kathryn Scott
Missional – we are also united by our decision and desire to follow Christ. We love to declare and celebrate the call he has placed on our lives to give our lives in service to his will and purposes. Missional worship often acknowledges suffering as the Scriptures remind us that, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV). Missional worship is also deeply dependent on the Lord and his work among us – we express that dependence through prayer. We also rejoice in his work among us through personal testimony thanksgiving.
Example: I Cling to the Cross by Paul Baloche
Accessible – our music and other programming is purposed to make it easy for our congregation to worship the Lord – to that end, we sacrifice the “coolness” factor (includes style, creativity, etc.), for the greater good of making sure everyone (as much as possible) is edified by our experience together. We recognize that our experience really isn’t together if most of our people are disengaged.
Example: Beneath the Cross by Kristyn Getty
2. Humility trumps talent and is what defines our leadership – we exist to serve the Lord and the people we lead and lead with. We seek to promote others above ourselves. We lead by example and we expect all worship personnel to behave the same way. We as a worship team do the “one anothers” well. These are the many commands in Scripture that highlight how we ought to treat each other. For example, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2 NIV)
3. While being primarily focused on singing a “new song,” we remain rooted in the songs and practices of the faith that have shaped the people of God throughout the centuries. Toward that end we major on singing the songs that are currently coming out of the church and deeply connecting to the church, while intentionally including hymns and choruses that have endured the ages. Some of our songs of praise will hopefully come from our own congregation as God transforms us, through Christ, by his Spirit. Also our “signature sound” and other artistic elements will be current. In other words, it will look, sound and feel like 2010 or whatever year it is.
I think that everything that I have mentioned above is demonstrated in the song, This is This is Our God by Hillsong. Give it a listen and judge for yourself. We will certainly be singing this song in the near future with our congregation!
This is list not exhaustive, but includes the essentials of worship at Trinity. I look forward to interacting together with my leadership teams and refining and then owning this together as we seek to glorify God and build his church through our corporate worship at Trinity Church.