A Wild Weekend
As always I am joining the crew over at The Worship Community. I am a big fan of the Sunday Setlist program because of the community building aspect, as well as the encouragement I receive when taking part and hearing what is going on in other congregations.
This was a special weekend because the Pastor’s were away in Indiana picking up their mother and grandmother who will be coming to spend time with us in Kansas. In their absence , They left myself and two other interns in charge. I, as always, lead the worship, but I was also left in charge of the altar ministry time. So it was a unique opportunity for me. But let me back up and begin with Friday night’s service.
As you may or may not know, Friday night is the service where we really go wild. Sunday mornings are more tame, because we know we will have visitors and people who might not be saved, and we aim our Sunday mornings to be accessible to everyone and encourage people to find, and pursue Christ. Friday night is the night where we really pursue after him hard.
This Friday night I had a great set ready. I had given my team the weekend off because a few of them were on vacation for the holiday. So It was just me and my guitar. Nothing fancy, and nothing special. Here was the intended set.
- “Crash This Place” by Matthew Reed
- “Now Unto The One”by Evan Wickham
- “Split My Chest” by Benjamin Dunn
- “Sing To Jesus” by Fernando Ortega
- “You are Holy” by Radiant Worship
As you can see this is a pretty great list, and I was excited. “Crash This Place” was a new track for the congregation, but it is a singable song that let people really engage in some praise and calling upon the Lord.
The next two songs went well and the church was really entering into worship. It was excellent as a worship leader to see such a strong response. However, the real response began during the song “Sing to Jesus.” This is just a magnificent song and always seems to touch home with the people. As I was singing, Lisa (who is in charge of the Friday Night Services) felt the Lord tugging her heart to have communion, so she grabbed our deacon and they got the crackers and juice together before I had even finished the second verse of the song. It was impressive. Then I got the nod to play the melody, but stop singing as Pastor Chris came up and led the church in Communion. After he shared, I began to vamp on the first verse of the song while communion was being served and God was moving on the church. It was undeniable. Then we took communion together and waited upon the Lord with no music playing and nobody moving. We just waited as his sweet presence began to fill the room. I had been given the signal that after a moment or two I was to continue worship, and this was just a sweet interlude and not an abrupt end to worship. I began to feel in my spirit that “You are Holy” was the incorrect song for what God was beginning to do in the service. luckily, I had another chord chart sitting on the stand next to me. I had grabbed two songs as potential offering songs. (I usually don’t know what I want to do for offering until its time to do it.) I saw the song “Fragrance” by Nic and Rachel Billman. (Nic and his wife happened to be leading this weekend at a conference in North Carolina that my friend Kevin Basconi was holding) I knew it was the right song for the moment so I slid it over to my stand and began to play the chords slowly. I was probably at about quarter tempo. and slowly built it up to speed, I really didn’t want to disturb the atmosphere of his presence that had descended upon us.
As I finally got to tempo, I sang the song and went through it probably twice and led into the bridge. The bridge of this song is so simple, “Let the fragrance of our worship draw you in” as I sang this a few times, I suddenly shifted to simply singing “Let It Draw You In” and people were entirely engaged, some were worshiping, and some were on their knees engaging the Lord on a personal level.
It was about here that I noticed a signal telling me to keep going and just let it flow. So I vamped on the chords of that bridge Em – C – G – D and began to sing spontaneously from my heart. As I began to release the song in my heart, the cry that I had been holding in, his presence seemed to just keep increasing. So I just sang. I kept in with the theme of drawing him in, and his fragrance, but shifted to my own song to the Lord.
It reminded me in hindsight of Kevin Prosch’s song “I Really Love you” In that song, which was recorded Live at a conference, he sang a Chorus which was just the phrase “I Really Love You” repeated a few times, and then would go into a spontaneous verse. This is what ended up happening with me. after a moment I found my way to the simple chorus “I coma Alive… when you walk into the room. I come Alive… at the scent of your perfume.” and would sing that a few times and then go back into the spontaneous verses.
Then after probably another 25 or 30 minutes I began to feel it was time to wind the worship down and so I draw down and gave the signal to Lisa to let her know I felt it was time for the word. She nodded back to me in agreement, and slowly made her was up to the podium. We took a slow transition from worship into the word, but it was great. God really moved in power Friday night and it was awesome to be the Glass that he used to pour out his new wine.
Sunday Morning was much more straight forward. I replaced “Sing to Jesus” with Fragrance, and then ended the service with “You Are Holy” The service went well and when it came time for me to lead the altar ministry, a solid amount of people came forward responding to the message which was about learning to Live in the grace of God.
This past weekend was a wonderful time with the Lord, it was peaceful, and gave us rest. I am glad to see the presence of God active in our church.