2 Chronicles 5:13 ‘The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud.’ (Familiar words echoed in a song written by Matt Redman.)
Music has a central role throughout the Bible, sometimes a call to worship, sometimes a call to war, and sometimes idol worship. No church organs or electronic keyboards back then, but you will find the equivalents to any modern day worship band – guitar, flute, cymbals and other instruments.
1 Corinthians 14:7 tells us ‘Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?’ – it reminds us of the skill of the musician. We have a great team of musicians and singers, who regularly give up their time in service. However, unlike the Old Testament ‘Temple Singers’, the team regularly juggles singing or playing to fit in with other roles in the church, as well as day-to-day activities (families, work, etc.)
This will be my last update as worship team coordinator as I step down from that role at the end of July. I have seen the Worship Team grow from its beginnings back in the early 2000s; many have come and gone for different reasons, but some of the team have been there through the years. In December 2005 (yes, it was that long ago!) we rocked Bournemouth Square one December evening – apparently we could be heard right over on the East Cliff! There was ‘Miracle Sunday’ in May 2015, during a time when we were struggling numbers-wise, God trebled the team as people came forward to join us in one service as a result of your prayers. There are many other highlights – too many to share now!
As worship team coordinator, it has been a pleasure to help mentor newer members to the team and also helping some of the younger members to find and develop their gifting. Also with the role comes finding new songs that are suitable for the congregation, organising music for Christmas and Easter, keeping on top of music copyright issues, as well as the ‘dreaded’ monthly rota – ensuring we have a team available week by week (a work of art I can assure you at busy times such as Christmas!)
There is an opportunity for a new worship team coordinator from August onwards, and it may be a good time to look afresh at how we do things within the team.
Please pray for the Worship Team – they are more than singers and musicians; they are carrying out God’s work. Music breaks down walls (Joshua 6:20), releasing people to worship and meet with God through the Holy Spirit. Music leads the army into battle (Jeremiah 51:27); we engage in spiritual warfare whenever we worship. They are on the front line.
And finally – a reminder that this is God’s work with words of comfort and assurance from Zephaniah 3:17 ‘The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.’
Worship is a two-way experience.