Hanging by a Moment

Posted: June 25, 2007 in Church, Music

Guitar 

The words to “Hanging by a Moment” by Lifehouse are awesome:

Forgetting all I’m lacking, completely incomplete

I’ll take your invitation, You take all of me

Now, I’m falling even more in love with you, letting go of all I’ve held onto
I don’t know what I’m diving into, just hanging by a moment here with you

I’m living for the only thing I know, I’m running and not quite sure where to go
I’m standing here until you make me move, I’m hanging by a moment here with you

 

I had a ‘moment’ with God today.  I was not in church.  I was not even around other people.  I was sitting in front of my computer with an open iTunes window and a guitar in my lap learning Chris Tomlin’s arrangement of “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone),” and suddenly I found myself connecting with God in worship to the point that I kept playing the song over and over again, not wanting the ‘moment’ to end.

Oddly enough, these one-on-one moments with God can be rare even onstage on a Sunday morning in a room full of people.  Onstage, I am concentrating on remembering the lyrics/chords/transitions and making sure the rest of the band stays in sync and on key.  It is not that I am not focused on God.  Rather, it’s that I want to make sure the ‘execution’ of the song is transparent enough that the people we’re leading can freely worship without distraction caused by musical mistakes or technical glitches.  It is sometimes a difficult responsibility to shoulder, because I also believe the most important thing a worship leader can do is model authentic worship, which is more effective at drawing people into the worship experience than hitting all the right notes.  So how can I best be a worship leader engaged in authentic worship AND play with excellence AND coordinate my team to deliver the best musical experience possible?

Just as the most effective preachers are those that speak on Sundays about what God is leading them on non-Sundays to speak, I believe the most effective worship leaders are those who worship offstage as much as on.  So I am striving to seek out more moments like I had today.  I want my preparation time to be as much about my heart and my own worship of God as it is about learning the chords and the lyrics.  I ought not to spend time practicing just to be ready to play in public, but to let my public worship on Sunday be an extension of the private worship that’s already begun before I ever hit the stage.

I want my team to seek the same as well.  I don’t want people in the band to merely practice chords, harmonies, and drum patterns, yet miss the opportunity for worship and reflection as they prepare.  Our personal worship prepares us for leading others in corporate worship.  All the we are and do points to Him instead of our own talents and abilities, which become transparent.  Then on Sundays, maybe people will be able to look right past us, beyond the music and the instruments, and see only God.  Not us.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) 

 

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see

 

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures

 

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine

But God, Who called me here below will be forever mine, Will be forever mine
    You are forever mine.

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