Why we should try our absolute best, but never forget that only God is able

While planning and thinking about the new year ahead; all the things i’d like to achieve, dreams, goals, desires and stuff, I came across this article by Reuben Morgan from Hillsong.

Wow, he nails it.

“God’s presence is robust. He’s not nervous or timid, and He is always present, never failing, never out of time or out of action. So when the first chord sounds and the hands go up we’re not doing it to try and get His attention in the hope that He might stop by if His schedule allows. We can sing will heads thrown back and hands held wide in the knowledge that God is already among us. It’s not a matter of asking did God show up to our meeting. The question to wrestle with is this: did we show up to meet with God?”

Read the rest here.

God IS able.
All the best as you plan for 2012.


The Hour Before

This post stems from a list of articles that worship pastors have written on what their hour (or so) before leading worship looks like. This is my story.

At home:

It’s 5:00am and my alarm goes off. One of the most irritating sounds ever.
I am not a morning person. My wife is, but not me. I like to stay up late and swap manly stories, hoping my wife will make waffles in the morning.

I drag myself out of bed, put on some ugly but comfortable clothes and make my first cup of coffee. A big one.
Grab my Bible and head to the lounge to read and wake up… in that order.

I’m not really preparing for worship. It just feels like the right thing to do. And it is.
It’s my time with God. Spending time with my Father and trying my best to catch His heart for our meeting.

During the week, usually on a Wednesday morning, I would have spent about 2-3 hours in worship, prayer and reading. This is when I would be putting my songlist together for our Sunday meeting. I’ll load the schedule into Planning Center, send the team an email and tweet my setlist.

So Sunday morning at home I’m re-reading the song words, reading Scripture, double checking the song order and transitions and making sure I have a good idea on what to expect when it comes to our band working together.

My wife and our kids are usually up at around 6:00am so I have to and want to be done by then. I’ll pack my Bible and music file away, grab some breakfast with the family and have a shower before my ride arrives at around 6:40am.

At Church:

We arrive at Church by 6:55am along with pretty much the rest of the team. Our sound engineer would be there by 6:30am to switch the amps and desk, lights, PC and other stuff on so we can get going with our sound check at 7:00am.

Once everyone’s tuned and setup we get going. We usually work through any new song first to keep it fresh for the morning, then we’ll work through the rest of the setlist in the order we’ll lead it. Making sure we have the song transitions down, double checking the song order and pretty much be done by 7:55am just in time to join the prayer meeting at 8:00am.

We pray from 8:00-8:15am and then spend the next 10min hanging with the folk who’ve arrived.
I don’t want the band on stage during this time. I like them to mingle with people seeing they’ll be leading them in worship that morning.

8:25am we’re on stage doing final tunings and getting ready for the 8:30am kick-off.
We usually prepare to lead 5 songs but normally we don’t get through all of them, which I enjoy. Most times God comes and changes things around. Hey, don’t sing that song, rather this one. Or if a certain contribution is brought and read out, or a passage is highlighted during worship, I’m racking my brain trying to think how we can emphasize that through a song…

It’s all pretty crazy leading worship. There are a hundred things going through my head at the time:
Is the band tight?
Are we keeping in time with the click?
We’re coming up the second bridge. Is the band going to remember to change key?
Are the drums too loud?
Am i smiling?
How does the next verse start again?
Should we go into the song we’re prepared to do next or should I take a risk and go with what I feel God is stirring?
Am I worshipping God?

Then it’s over.
And it was awesome.
I love it.
And next week we get to do this again.