Talking points: Part 1

I love to talk! I really do. But sometimes I am rather conscious that my words can get so mixed up and around and garbled when I feel I should say something in that precise moment. This happens especially when praying out loud (on my own or with others) and also when I am up front leading worship and feel prompted to speak up. I lose it. I say something but aware that it might not be clear, that my explanations make no sense, that what I say really is just so awkward that no one will pay much attention.

But lately I’ve really felt the prompting to say things during times of worship. To maybe explain how the Holy Spirit is at work, or to explain why people are doing what they do, or to even encourage people to come with me to that vast open and liberating space that God longs us to be in. But how do we say it? I know its a case of say as you feel led and there is no room for rehearsing what to say at that particular moment – but I really am looking into ways to say things and also ways to avoid saying things.

So I’m going to spend a few blogs talking about talking – my ultimate favourite thing to do!

A guy called Bob Kauflin has blogged and spoken about this and I have found it really useful. He starts by mentioning the common stereotypes of people talking when not singing he has encountered over the years which I found quite interesting:

The Teacher – From the ten minutes of explanation he provides between every song, you sense he wishes he were the pastor or thinks he should be. Wants you to know he’s much more than a mere musician.

The Emoter – You know he’s moved by something but you’re not sure what. At various times he exhibits tears, laughter, changes in volume – if only you knew why he was so affected. “Jesus! He’s just amazing. I mean, it’s incredible, whoa…like I can hardly believe it…you know what I mean?”

The Mute – You don’t know if he doesn’t have anything to say, fears speaking in front of crowds, or just wants you to figure everything out on your own. Sometimes accompanied by long pregnant pauses between songs.

The Reporter– He unemotionally provides you with information, details, stats, facts. Helpful for someone who works at an information desk. Doesn’t work quite as well when you want to direct people’s hearts to worship God.

The Wanderer – You’re not quite sure where he’s going or where he’s been, but you’re hoping he makes sense to someone.”In Christ Alone. Like, a-looooone, man. I’ve been alone. Like, it’s a bad feeling. Aloneness. Don’t wanna be alone. No way.”

The Cheerleader -Wants you to be excited from start to finish and will use any number of techniques to get you there and keep you there – jumping, shouting, waving hands, moving from one side of the stage to the other, prolonged eye contact, etc. “Here we go! Come on! Let’s sing it like we mean it!”

The Philosopher – Likes to consider possible interpretations and implications of lyrics without coming to any definite conclusions. “You know when we sing that line, ‘Light of the world you stepped down into darkness’ it makes me wonder what kind of step we’re talking about. Was it like a stair step or more like a leap? You know, was it really a step? Was it one small step for Jesus but one giant leap for mankind? I dunno.”

The Mystic – Steve has a distinctive “worship leading” voice that differs from has “normal speaking” voice. It might be a breathy whisper or loud shouting. In either case, you wonder if the Spirit is in the business of voice-modulation.

Being such an enthusiastic person I guess I am in the danger of becoming like a “Cheerleader”, especially as I am so used to it when leading choirs or hymn practice assemblies! But I know deep down that the main reason to talk is to enable people to grow deeper in worship and to encourage them to express their love for Jesus in maybe new and different ways which the Holy Spirit is prompting us to.

The first real time I felt moved and excited by someone talking when not singing in worship was when I heard Kim Walker leading How He Loves Us. And it pretty much sums up where I long to take people too. If you go to 6mins 20 secs you’ll see/hear what I mean….

And just for those who want to read what she says……

His presence. His love.
Is so thick and tangible in this room tonight.
And there are some of you here that have not encountered the love of God.
And tonight God wants to encounter you.
And wants you to feel His love.
His amazing love.
Without it these are just songs.
These are just words.
These are just instruments.
Without the love of God, it’s just like we’re just up here just making noise.
But the love of God changes us,
And we’re never the same,
We’re never the same
After we encounter the love of God
We’re never the same after we encounter the love of God
And right now if you haven’t encountered the love of God,
And you would know,
Because you wouldn’t be the same.
You would never be the same again.
And if you, if you, want to encounter the love of God right now,
You better just brace yourself because He’s about to just blow in this place
And we’re gonna encounter the love of God right now.
So God I speak to all the hearts
And I ask God that every heart be open right now
Every heart be open.
Every spirit be opened up
To you God. To You.
And a love encounter
A love encounter from you tonight
A love encounter from you tonight God.

Amen Kim, amen, amen, amen!!!

Erica x


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