This is a busy week as I prepare to get everything in order for not only the re:create conference next week, but for a Women’s Conference that I’ll be leading next weekend as well. So, rather than type a long post on worship leadership, I’d like to start a discussion today.
This past weekend, guest speaker Tom Tanner shared about corporate prayer. He discussed times when everyone prays out loud – at the same time. His point was “you aren’t praying to each other, you are praying to God”. He also said “if you take turns and go around the circle, and let each person pray, you don’t really get much praying done, but if everyone prays, it’s different”.
Granted, I *LOVE* corporate prayer like that. I get out of my seat, walk the floor, and go for it. On the other hand, there are certainly times when it’s appropriate to listen to someone else pray, and agree with them in prayer.
I’d like to take that though process over into the act of singing. I grew up in the United Methodist Church the first 16 years of my life, then was involved in Charismatic churches from my high school years throughout college and the first dozen years of my professional “full-time” ministry. Though the church I’m a part of now isn’t necessarily “charismatic”, it’s definitely filled with people who have experienced God’s Holy Spirit in powerful ways and that power is displayed in changed lives every week.
What I call “free worship” is when the congregation has a time to just “sing” out loud … but whatever they want. It’s the most beautiful “unorganized order” I’ve ever heard. Have you ever experienced it? The sound of hundreds – or thousands of voices, singing out individually in praise to God? Though there are individual voices, I believe it rises to God as a “corporate” praise.
For some of you, that thought probably makes you very uncomfortable. For some of you, it’s your favorite place of worship. We don’t really experience that in my church now, and I miss it.
Take a listen to the first 15 seconds or so of “Hosanna” from the Paul Baloche album, “A Greater Song” … this is an example of what I’m talking about:[audio:http://www.fredmckinnon.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/freeworship.mp3]
Let the discussion begin!
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