When The Power Fades Part 2

14May08

The last post definitely struck a chord. 

givemejesus, gave us a link to a great post in his comment. If you have a chance, go check the post out.

As I read through it, the author gave us 2 questions to consider, and I want to give them to you as well. I am completely sold on the use of technology in church services, but I am always reminded of balance.

Read the 2 questions and give me your thoughts.

 

#1 Are we more sensitive to the loss of electricity than the presence of the Holy Spirit in our meetings?

#2 Have we grown so accustomed to amplified music that we find it difficult to engage in true worship without it, whether it’s a pipe organ, a keyboard, or a five-piece band?

 

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31 Responses to “When The Power Fades Part 2”

  1. OK so first and foremost for this comment – i don’t attend a church service – i have just never felt ‘comfortable’ there – or sharing my own worship (which at times seems to be so very different as to almost be at odds with Christian churches i have been to for various reasons throughout my life) with God with others that i am not very familiar with – or seem to have much in common with for that matter. SO having said that – Here’s my take on the post the referred post and your q’s.

    Q1. have no personal experience of this (Thank you, God) but the analogy between Power and Power seems worthy of remembering – one comes from the grid and one comes from God – let’s never mix the two up 😉

    Q2.There’s a can of worms here B. and it goes back to ‘tools’ we may choose to use to make something ‘more perfect’ than it originally is and what that says to us about God’s Works.

    I almost never go to live concerts anymore. (One reason is for the ridiculous prices some charge so that the elite of our society will happily pay to attend (when the HAVE to and don’t get ‘freebies’ because of who they are and who they know) But the bigger reason is this…

    To me – they never ( mostly without exception) sound as good in person as they did on the radio or CD.

    Technology ‘improves’ their natural ‘ability’.

    Sadly what this means is many artists are not really that good – it is their sound engineer who deserves most of the credit. The ones who ‘tweak’ the music with their the tools in much the same way that magazine photoshop editors now tweak a model’s real looks to make them more ‘perfect’, more inhumanly possible to achieve, unless we get cosmetic surgery.

    To improve on what God Gave us or to stave off the aging of our looks as we mature in a desperate attempt at vanity.

    Man always wants to improve on God’s Work.

    I hope no church ever loses sight of who it is we are supposed to be honouring there? Or what we do when we come together to pray to Him and give thanks for what he has give nto us all naturally.

    getting off soapbox now – i thank all who listened 🙂

    Less about me, Oh Lord, More about YOU!

    <B

  2. I think I’ve told you before that the sweetest most powerful worship I have experienced so far was in Mexico on a missions trip. They had zero, nada, including a time limit…We worshipped in a little cockroach infested “church” with a hundred or so on-fire Christian brothers and sisters. It went on for two plus hours, we didn’t understand many words, but Gods was thick in that place. Sounds like it was a sweet time Saturday! 🙂

  3. 3 BuddyO

    Love.. your right on about ticket prices but man, your way off base about live music.

    I am an engineer and have worked on many recordings. In the early 90’s I worked in one of the best know world calss studio’s on the east coast. I can tell you that there’s only so much an engineer or producer can do. Photoshop artists can actually distort and modify reality. An audio engineer can only polish what’s already there. I argued with many a client about their dissapointment in how a recording was turning out. I’d take them out in front of their $200 music store drum set with 8 year old heads and thier drummer who has only been playing for 2 years and tell them to listen… “That is the best the drums will ever sound. If you want it to sound better buy a real drum set with new, tuned heads and hire a new drummer.”

    The sign of a truely gifted musician is what they sound like live… remember live audio engineers are just as much part of the sound as engineers in the studio. Give live music a second chance.

  4. 4 BuddyO

    Now that was in reference to live music for entertainment purposes…

    In church…? I was that guy for a long time… not so sure I buy into in anymore….

  5. I missed out on part one, but would have loved the experience…

    I remember as a child being in our small congregation with only an organ and piano. When a traveling group came through with “other” instruments we felt challenged to still call it woship – the older generations were scandalized.

    My favorite time in worship is when everything stops and we sing acapella – voices lifted up in praise.

    On a side note, I quit singing on the worship team and in the choir because I wasn’t sure my motivation was always about worship…more of Him, less of me.

  6. Love, I think that can of worms is important to talk about. There are many that go to church to have a “style” need met. I am not concerned over whether they like something personally, but I am concerned when young and old come to me and say, “the worship was bad” or “the worship was good”. It’s at that point you have to question whether or not they feel they have worshipped when they feel a certain way. there is nothing feeling oriented about true worship. Feelings may go along with it, but they can never be the measure of worship. Only God can measure our worship.

    Deb, those are amazing times where we watch God working through others and we praise him even more because of the opportunity to see it.

    Buddy, I do not buy into technology as necessary, I buy into technology as valuable.

    Michelle, for you to step down from a ministry because you wanted to make sure your heart was in it, speaks volumes to me. That is a humble and surrendered spirit!

  7. 7 TheNorEaster

    #1 Are we more sensitive to the loss of electricity than the presence of the Holy Spirit in our meetings?
    Some people are. Don’t forget, you’re talking about church. Structured. Organized. Unwritten assigned seating. And most church-goers really wouldn’t know the presence of the Holy Spirit if it bit them in the back end.

    #2 Have we grown so accustomed to amplified music that we find it difficult to engage in true worship without it, whether it’s a pipe organ, a keyboard, or a five-piece band?
    I first heard bell choir at my church. There is no amplification with that. Just the instruments. And I was amazed at the sound. And sound, as you know, is not my specialty. But I loved it. The sound. I couldn’t make any sense of the music. I could even tell you if they were playing Amazing Grace or Metallica. It didn’t matter. I loved it. THAT was worship to me. Because I didn’t have to watch the band members for when the congregation was supposed to sing. Or get lost because the arm movements (visual) are too distracting next to the clapping (aural). I didn’t see anybody with tears running down their cheeks, their eyes closed, and their hands raised AS SEEN ON TV. There was nothing there but the most miraculous sound I had ever heard. And five minutes before, a (middle-aged) rock-n-roll band was pounding and thrashing. But…Amplification…? SCHMAMPLIFICATION!!! Why do you think I JOINED BELL CHOIR? And not only that, but I conducted “Jesus Christ Has Risen Today” on Easter Sunday. I wonder how glorious that must have been to Him–I’ve lost 60% of my hearing, remember–and if you really knew how hard it was for me to do that and how much courage it took me to pull that off…Believe in miracles? Oh, yeah! 😉

  8. 8 alece

    such great thoughts.

  9. 9 tawny

    I never knew you were so thought provoking. 🙂

    1. Are we more sensitive to the loss of electricity than the presence of the Holy Spirit in our meetings?

    Don’t you think this is an individual thing? There are times when I come to worship and I am so touched by His Spirit that I can’t even sing. There are times when I am filled with joy. There are times when I cry through the whole thing. There are some times I just sing, feeling very blah and think “Sorry Lord, I know you are worthy but I am blah and cranky and only here because I know You want me to be, make me better.” And it has very little to do with who is singing what, up front, it is all the state of my heart.

    2 Have we grown so accustomed to amplified music that we find it difficult to engage in true worship without it, whether it’s a pipe organ, a keyboard, or a five-piece band?

    I think we don’t know what true worship is. We are singing to our Creator, our King and He treasures it, because He treasures us. If we don’t have a close loving relationship, (or at least want to) with Him, it is meaningless. If my husband sings to me after he ignores me for a week, month after month, I will want to hit him with his guitar. I think most of us are afraid to really trust God. Which means we are afraid to truly give Him our hearts. Which means it is not worship.

    I feel so harsh saying this but I don’t think our walk matches our singing. I don’t mean us, on this blog, I mean us, half of the people who call themselves Christians.

  10. Thanks for bringing this up. One of our very young and energetic singers just brought this to our attention lately. He said…”But I have worried lately that spirit led has become sprit Loud.
    Every song blasts or builds.”

    Wow…he’s calling us to the carpet on if we can worship in the simple and in the quiet. Can we??!?!?!?!…still finding out!

  11. Hey everyone, I am sorry I have not been able to give this more attention today. I have been very busy at work getting things ready for the weekend and have been away from the blog.

    Noreaster, That is one of my favorite easter hymns. And, can you believe, I was in the bell choir myself 🙂

    I think that you appreciated something so deeply that it affected you. I believe that is at the heat of worship. To appreciate God’s creation is worship. To be in awe of Him. I think there is something special about music. I believe He gave us an amazing gift in music.

    Alece, thanks!

    Tawny, I’m not always a goof, like in the office 🙂

    I think that you are right in saying it is an issue of the heart. We have good and bad days, but as our hearts are pressed into His, we truly worship.

    Judi, thanks for stopping by!

    Its so easy to build a routine or get comfortable with something isn’t it. It is good for worship leaders to mix it up and keep people on their toes in church services. It is good sometimes to break the mold. It encourages people to be less dependent on a process and more dependent on their responsibility in bringing God our worship.

  12. I understand what you are saying B.

    You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Each of us is an individual and our relationship with God is therefore individual to each of us, so what some like – others may not.

    Leading a group in worship must be a skill that requires great care and ‘balance’. I don’t envy any who make the attempt. I don’t feel i would be good at it at all.

    Trying to ensure all present can find in a service what each of them is able to relate best to cannot be an easy task. The larger the group the more factors need consideration.

    Jesus was reported as speaking to multitudes and he never had the aids you have at your disposal at TRF.

    I think the key is what is in The Heart of those involved.. less of ‘us’ – more of Him would seem to be the best guide? Our ‘spirit’ is what becomes ‘contagious’ to those in group worship. That all can feel and respond to. He is always there – your job is to allow all to see, hear and feel him clearly. Without any man-made ‘distractions’ getting in the way.

    How you can best do that? Make your goal the Union (uniting) of all hearts perhaps?

    sorry that’s a little unspecific – maybe your peers can come up with helpful thoughts? 🙂

    <B

  13. 13 Darla

    I think there are times in our humaness we just become wrapped up in the whole program as a whole and we miss the Power…HE is still there we just miss it.

    #2 I love all types of worship music…I love acoustic, electronic sounds…pipe organ…bands..if it is worshipful Its all good…I recently found out I can even do accapella for a while 😯 and that I would not have believed!

  14. I attend two very different churches – one in Florida in the winter, one in Michigan. I love both churches but I tend to sway towards the more traditional. Ironically, the church that has the more traditional service has more life and enthusiasm than the contemporary service. I love my church – it gives me stability, a good course direction, and input for Christian growth you get no where else like it. Remember, worship is a verb, requires action on our part. The music should enhance my worship.

  15. #1 Are we more sensitive to the loss of electricity than the presence of the Holy Spirit in our meetings?

    Without question. Of course that’s a generalization, I’m sure there’s lots of exceptions. I’d say there are much more frequent distractions to the Holy Spirit in most churches than just the electric. In my experience from being both a Worship Leader … how about things like worrying whether you are succsssfully ‘ushering in’ the Holy Spirit. You know… scanning the congregation looking for that teardrop in the corner of someone’s eye for validation that you really hit it on the head.

    #2 Have we grown so accustomed to amplified music that we find it difficult to engage in true worship without it, whether it’s a pipe organ, a keyboard, or a five-piece band?

    Hmmm… for me it’s almost the opposite. I find the purest worship in the simplest forms of music. Of course as it’s been said, it’s different for everyone, I just find that the bigger the production, the more I’m entertained…. and thus, the less I worship.

    BTW I thought this article would be an intresting addition to this conversation… 😉

  16. Love, you know one thing that is interesting, is that I think something you’ve said is what makes up the difference in churches. i don’t believe for one minute that churches are to be in competition with each other. I do think they should be to properly lead and communicate to the ones that God has brought them. So in doing this, we have a church that is a certain style and does things a certain way. the ministries we have at TRF are there because of the people we have, not because we need them. And I have never played certain styles of music, because someone wanted me to. When I lead, you get me.

    I like that about churches. Traditional, contemporary, modern whatever they are in style doesn’t matter to me. As long as they are taking care of the people that God has brought them.

  17. Darla, “humanness” is a part of who we are. Church can cause distractions, but so can everything else around us. I am grateful that even when we look away, He doesn’t leave!

    Pap, sounds like you”ve got some great home churches to be a part of.

    Buddy, It’s been a long time since I personally have used physical participation as a gauge for worship. I know many do though. I also think that relationship is key. If we know who someone well and they react differently in worship, as a friend we should question them. we should always challenge each other to heart worship.

    Regarding entertainment, I am easily entertained, but I am also as easily drawn into worship by an acoustic or a rock band. to me it is about the intent and heart. .What are the lyrics. what does it mean. When I sing something that is brutally honest, it doesn’t matter if its soft or loud, I am affected by it.

    When I get a second, I’ll go read the article you linked.

  18. Buddy, I just read that article.

    First of all, that church should never have tried what they did. They are a traditional church meeting the needs of traditional people…why would they change that???

    Second of all, I have been a part of churches that have done this. They start a “contemporary service”, but it is never truly “contemporary”. It ends up being a bunch of traditional people leading contemporary songs and then you just have to ask yourself…Why?

  19. 19 Darla

    Brent, I totally agree that HE never leaves..I just meant sort of like some times we notice and sometimes we don’t. Personally Jesus can come back now…and I am ready to shed some humaness.. 🙂

  20. Agreed 🙂

  21. Sorry, that article is another satire from JesusManifesto. Sad thing is it hits so close to home that it’s easy to think it’s real.

    I know that physical response shouldn’t be a motivator, but if I am being totally transparent here I admit that I would get a bit sad or worried if no one was singing or no hands were raised… part of me would feel like I failed. Again, being totally honest, there would be a part of me that would feel gratified if tears were pouring down someone’s face. Actually, it’s funny it always seems like it’s the Lords work when something goes right and my fault when it goes wrong…. human nature I guess.

  22. Buddy, it totally hits close to home, that’s why it sounded so real to me. didn’t realize it was satire 🙂

    “seems like it’s the Lords work when something goes right and my fault when it goes wrong…. human nature I guess.”

    I definitely hear you on this. In more ways than worship. when things are good in life…God is there…that kind of thing. I think we can all fall into it and, being totally honest, I have as well. I would be a little worried if people were just staring at me. Although, sometimes as a gauge, “staring people” could tell me, we are being to “entertaining” and not enough “engaging”.

  23. I had an experience once where there was a guy in the congregation who just sat the whole time during worship. Never sang, never smiled and a couple times it looked like he was sleeping. Honestly it bothered me that he wasn’t being reached. After the service he came up to me and told me it was the most powerful worship he had ever experienced…. go figure… I learned a lesson that day.

  24. I actually love those that are willing to sit. I wish people would just take their personalities and place it into their singing and praying and worshiping. If your physically active…be that. If your not…be that. That to me seems real.

  25. Buddy, in my experience what you described may be YOUR nature – it ain’t ‘human’ nature.

    The way i see it – human nature is when things go ‘right’ it was ‘me – ain’t i clever’ and when things go ‘wrong’ it’s “Why God? what did i do to you to deserve this?”

    God’s nature, i believe, is: when things ‘go right’ for you you were in agreement with me, when things ‘go wrong’ for you you had to try it ‘your way’ first.

    Of course, many times, when things ‘go wrong’ they actually went the way they were ‘supposed’ to 🙂

    Just a thought – back to the topic 🙂

    <B

  26. and just as a frame of reference for my last comment – what could be more ‘wrong’ than nailing a good, innocent man to a cross?

    <B

  27. “God’s nature, i believe, is: when things ‘go right’ for you you were in agreement with me, when things ‘go wrong’ for you you had to try it ‘your way’ first.”

    I understand where your going with this. I think buddy and I are talking from a ministry/pastor’s perspective.

    Here’s where your thought might have issues 🙂

    Your thought essentially is, if things are good, we are in God’s will/plan, if things aren’t going good, then we are not. But what is “going good”. Spiritually? Physically? Emotionally? I don;t think this thought works in the physical realm…only the spiritual.

  28. If i’m ‘hijacking’ the direction of this blog, please tell me – that is not my intent 🙂

    But i’d like to be more clear with you (and anyone ‘listening’ on where i ‘went’ with it).

    I don’t think you quite ‘got’ what i was saying, perhaps i was not being too clear. I meant we are always in God’s Plan – but sometimes we humans choose to see things from our perspective MORE than from His (which is understandable – if not totally desirable). 😉

    I actually think humans don’t really understand very well ‘right and wrong’

    I don’t believe God intended for man to know the dichotomy of ‘Good and Evil’.

    “16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
    17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen 2: 16,17)

    and then old S-s-s-snakey came along and that was that. We’re stuck with it – but we should try to learn a different ‘Way’.

    In God there is no ‘wrong’ – only in man’s understandings.

    my essential thought in the comment above was that ‘general’ human nature is not correctly aligned with God’s will. We get ‘into trouble’ because of this. We place the labels ‘good’ or ‘bad’ on events in our lives and can misplace the ‘blame’ in doing so.

    So i’d say the thought i had works only in man’s realm (our physical one) not in the Spiritual – an apparent contradiction? i’m sure we can overcome this one 🙂

    <B

  29. Ok, I am understanding you better, but want to clear this up.

    Are you saying that we cannot know right and wrong? I believe that the Bible teaches us that God sends the Holy Spirit to show us right from wrong.

    Also, I wasn’t quite sure about this.

    “In God there is no ‘wrong’ – only in man’s understandings.”

    I think you are saying that there is no wrong in God? Just seeking clarity.

    🙂

  30. Happy to try for more clarity in our respective thoughts here B

    I was not saying that man cannot know right from wrong. Once that ‘apple’ from the tree of knowlwedge of good and evil was partaken there was no turning back – we’re lumbered by it now.

    Problem is it makes it very difficult for us – not always being able to see eye to eye with our neighbours – to all agree on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and how each of us keeps to the ‘good’ while avoiding the ‘bad’.

    War develops from such difficulty.

    War between man, and between man and ‘our’ respective God (or how we each think of God. – if we even do think of Him) even though there is only One, just with many human perspectives or views of what He ‘is’.

    So since we now have the concept we have need of an arbiter in all things ‘good’ and ‘evil’ – a kind of Universal Referee. or Umpire – that we can call to for help if we have difficulty in reaching agreement with our fellow man. The Holy Spirit can serve that function.

    When we are fully in Spirit – there is no evil in us. As in 1 Cor 13 – Love Beareth all things and taketh not account of evil.

    I think God is ‘above’ the division between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ God just ‘is’ and God just ‘does’. God’s ways are not as man’s are.

    Bbeing basically a monkey of very little brain, (compared to the mind of God) man is able to do wrong to another man, or even many men, sometimes – even when he thinks he is (rather than actually IS) in Spirit.

    So basically i think ‘wrong’ is all in our minds and God tries to get us to see that by trying to take us out of our ‘mind’ and into His, via the Holy Spirit, so we can hopefully see things from a much larger perspective than the one we are most used to spending much of our lives in.

    Is this making any sense to you? 🙂

    <B

  31. Love, that cleared it up nicely.

    I strongly agree with “our ways are not God’s ways”. I think there is so much wisdom in that and we tend to rely on our feelings or comfort way too often when making decisions in life. Instead of allowing Him to completely direct and lead us.



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