Leading Worship for the World

I’m planning to do a series of blogs based on all the notes that I wrote at the Worship Central conference back in 2015. There were so many fantastic points made that need sharing and reflecting on months after and I personally find it really helpful rereading them and typing them up like this.

Martin Smith led a seminar called “Leading Worship for the World”. The video is here if you want to see the whole thing

To lead worship for the world means not keeping it contained inside a church. It means bring God’s light and love into the world and God anointing our gifts and using them to touch people and move them to know and see His glory whether we are speaking of Him of not. It means that when the music in the church gets so on fire it spills out into the world. How might that look like?

It is pretty amazing that God can take someone’s life, pluck them from obscurity and give them an assignment. Something only they can do. Something that God has created them to do and none of us are here by chance. None of us musicians have the gift of music by chance. God gave birth to us and gave those with the gift of music to sing the new song. We are all alive for this moment in history.

God wants to give us more faith for what God has called and chosen us to be. And we need to take whatever we have inside of us and let it explode for the sake of the glory of God!

A shift is happening – God is about to do something in our generation. We need to re position ourselves for where God can do it. Believe that God is going to give you something new, fresh and something that will spill out into the world.

It can seem that our worship music is a little religious. We have somehow got stuck in a moment and need God to unstick us. A creative community within our churches can seem a dumbed down version of all the potential it could be. For many of us it is about respect for the people that we are serving because not all of us respond to things getting spontaneous and loads of new songs every service etc. But it is not a rebellious thing – its is about freedom.

The devil has got hold of a generation (in the creative world) where there is a holy fire that God has put on us to let loose our Holy Spirit creativity that will not be created to serve the institution  of church but to set the world on fire!

Our creativity was not intended to serve the institution of the church but to set the world on fire.

Martin then refers to 1 Samuel 16: 14

14 At that very moment the Spirit of God left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by God settled on him. He was terrified.

15-16 Saul’s advisors said, “This awful tormenting depression from God is making your life miserable. O Master, let us help. Let us look for someone who can play the harp. When the black mood from God moves in, he’ll play his music and you’ll feel better.”

17 Saul told his servants, “Go ahead. Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.”

18 One of the young men spoke up, “I know someone. I’ve seen him myself: the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, an excellent musician. He’s also courageous, of age, well-spoken, and good-looking. And God is with him.”

19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse requesting, “Send your son David to me, the one who tends the sheep.”

20-21 Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with a couple of loaves of bread, a flask of wine, and a young goat, and sent his son David with it to Saul. David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him immediately and made him his right-hand man.

22 Saul sent word back to Jesse: “Thank you. David will stay here. He’s just the one I was looking for. I’m very impressed by him.”

23 After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted.

David was an excellent musician. Whenever the darkness depressed Saul, David would play and make things right. This is our calling as musicians to do that same thing for other people in the world.

Ask yourself – why was I given the gift of music? To be involved in leading worship maybe, but to also bring healing and light in the dark places. Now we’ve learnt about worship over the many years its time to use what we have learnt and spread it out into the world.

The best creative stuff is going to come from the church in this generation. There are so many Christian musicians already playing in mainstream bands, in the clubs and on the stages of high profile festivals. We are one day going to be the little shepherd boys and bring our gift of music into the dark places and God is going to use that.  For it to be great though, its got to be a little bit wilder. We were born to be creative and wild and set God’s fire lose. And if we aren’t doing that then we’re only half the people that God has created us to be.

Over the years if has been the general thing that if God has given you a gift of music, singing and leading worship then you should use it for the church. And we have believed that so much that we have kept our gifts for the house and not out into the world. So it has bred a generation of “this is what we do: but while we’ve been doing that it feels like the river has been changed.

There was a picture given of an amazing bridge – but there was no function for the bridge because the river had moved! The river has moved in worship or its moving. And that’s why we need to be prophetic and be ahead of the game and not follow the world. There is whole generation of musicians and artists who are not going to be tamed and will speak to the world. And this could be a challenge to ask the Holy Spirit to come again, to breath his fire into our hearts and to be wild again. A lion was never meant to be trapped in a zoo. And there is something inside of us that needs to be set free.

Wherever you go sing over people. Whether in church or out of it – just explode wherever you go! God is saying “I love you and I love it all”.

Just like Saul in Samuel 1 the world is screaming “Is there anybody out there that can play the harp?” That can bring light into the dark places, that can make people feel better about themselves and when we play or sing the Spirit of God is going to move and the glory of God is going to come.

How. Very. Exciting!

Erica xxx


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