Happy Bank Holiday Monday!
I’ve been blogging all day for work, writing up all my youth talks (11 years worth!). Whilst I’m in the swing of it I thought why not, get the last of the sunshine and write an extra post for this week!
One of the last talks I wrote up had me admitting that over one summer I had become a bit of a Belieber; there was a purpose to this confession, I was using “Sorry” as a prop in my talk! He just has songs that are so catchy! This summer is just the same. Much as I don’t like the content of the song, I find myself singing along to “Despracito” pretending with skill, that I know all the Spanish words!
Come on ‘fess up – you do it too!
I remember when I was younger buying Smash Hits magazine and pouring over the middle pages that printed all the lyrics to my favorite songs. I loved learning all the words. Many times though, I had rewound the song so many times on my cassette player already that it was just a confirmation of lyrics already learnt!
I wish we still had Smash Hits, then I wouldn’t have been so confused about the Starbucks Lovers that Taylor Swift was singing about. Smash Hits has been long replaced by google, but its not the same as having the lyrics plastering your bedroom walls.
These days I don’t pick the lyrics as well as I used to. I’m not mindful enough, usually its on the radio as background noise. Hense the Starbucks lovers (it’s long list of ex-lovers for those still wondering). There is one song I know all the words too, that’s because it was my warm up track three times a week when I started back at the gym. D.P.M.O is probably not the track I am most proud of knowing all the lyrics too, but I do… even the one word I was sure I was making up!
I know the words because it became familiar to me. It was my running song, the words helped me get going, and when I was P.O it was especially helpful! I wasn’t really thinking about the lyrics though, some of them I don’t really like, and I’m not going to stand on stage during assembly and pour them out!
In church, I think we can get like this with our songs of worship. We are familiar “I love this song!”, we don’t always connect with what we are actually singing. Don’t hear me wrong, I believe words have power. I believe that sometimes it is right to sing them without connecting completely because sometimes it’s about the battle and sometimes we just have to sing, and sometimes when we sing, the connection is made! However, if this was the case all the time, we would miss the depth and beauty of lyrics.
I used to be in a choir and there was an exercise that our leaders used to do with us as we came up to performance times. That was, to feel the music. It was my favourite exercise. During one particular song ‘Steal Away’; we stood in a circle, eyes closed and took ourselves to the place that the song was talking to us about. You could feel the power, the way the song changed the atmosphere. We sang it better this way, we sang it like we actually believed it.
This week at church, I found myself in the predicament that we had no band. I toyed with the idea of karaoke, but then felt led to think about focussing on the words we have been singing. Asking myself, what do these songs mean to me, what aspects of my life are they talking about, what situations can I sing them over? From there I came up with five worship stations, which yesterday my church used for worship time. Through it all we encouraged people to share verses with each other, pray for each other and create together. We used the Rivers & Robots album ‘Be Still’ as our background music. You can buy it from Bandcamp!
Ten Thousand Reasons (Matt Redman)
This chalkboard paper is great and was about £2 from ASDA. The pens were considerably more and were borrowed my work resources! Normal chalk works fine too I just love these pens!
How many reasons can you find to praise God?
This looked at three songs: Devotion and No One Better (Jules Burt) and My Treasure (Olly Knight).
Think of your favourite things and write them underneath the cross. Read through the lyrics. When you are ready; take a ‘gem’ and place it on the cross showing that Jesus is better than even these things.
Through the Storm
Here we looked at lyrics from Cornerstone (Hillsong) & In Christ Alone (Stuart Townend). The focus was on the lyrics that particularly talked about storms.
Take a piece of A4 paper and think about the storms you are in or see around you. Write it down in the centre of the paper. Now begin to fold the paper into a boat, so the word is hidden inside it. Take your boat and place it on the ‘sea’ (a paddling pool filled with blue material). Use it as a display of your trust in God, that he will keep you firm through the storm.
Strength Will Rise
I created a waiting room with an old Ikea wardrobe frame and some florist ribbon. It was a place for people to go and just ‘wait’ on the Lord.
“You are the Everlasting God, the everlasting God, you do not faint you won’t grow weary. You’re the defender of the weak, you comfort those in need, you lift us up on wings like eagles”
Lastly I put out a table for people to draw or write whatever they wanted to. We encourage people that they didn’t have to be talented artists but just to express themselves through colours and whatever they felt to draw
A different Sunday all in all. Comment below if you have ever done this kind of creativity in a service
I’d also love to hear from you if you are a worship leader – what would you have done with no band avaliable?