Church Series: Part 3

Worship: The music starts.
This one is for all those museo’s out there.
I’ve played in many different worship bands in many different churches and different crowds over the years. My experiences have formed my own opinions on how worship works and how it should be done. Whether you want it to be or not, worship is somewhat formulated and regulated, uniform and prescribed, no matter how much God has a say in the way you do it. In saying that, I’m not suggesting that this is the only possible way in which worship should be done or can be done, nor am I saying that God can’t use His spirit to change and adapt a music team and the way the songs are played. What I do mean is that there are certain aspects in playing worship and worship songs that works, that bring people into God’s presence and leads them to a night filled with what they all really came to do – to meet with God.
The first songs are the crux of the service. If you miss the mark here then you’ve lost the whole service. The reason for this is because these first two or three songs set up the energy and the openess of the people for them to come into true worship later on.
Generally, starting with a powerful, upbeat praise song, especially in a youth service is almost innevidible. But not because it is just because thats how its always been done. Its done because it works. The reason why an upbeat, loud, powerful song works is because it gets the guys shouting, the girls dancing and the congregation have the chance to lose the energy that they brought with them – to get it all out. Whether we like it or not; whether we intend to or not, we all bring baggage from the week thats just been through those church doors. It could be anything, from fights with depression, to a lost wallet. That first song brings release of that baggage and gets us energised and then deenergised as we lose stamina in our shouting attempts of singing. That then opens up room for emotion, for feeling, for the doors of the spirit to open and God and His Holy Spirit can begin to do their work. I believe that the first song is vital in setting up that environment for which those people can come honestly and humbly into worshiping their one true God.

Its just a piece of paper

Browsing through the internet can lead you to many amazing things. One of these sites I stumbled on a while back, but only now realised just how ground breaking it really is!

Peter Callesen folds paper. Not to make paper darts or to fit something into an envelope, but to make sculptures.

A portfolio of his work can be found here, at www.petercallesen.com

Church Series: Part 2

Worship: Enter the Holy of Holies:
The situation mentioned in my last post in this series is one that most of us who have ever been to a youth service has been.
Entering a church is the first step of Worship. It is making a step into a public place where we come with the express purpose of meeting with God. It is saying to God “Here I am”. Whether you come for the music, or because your friends go to the service or for whatever other reason, you are stepping through those open doors into a place where God resides and where He meets His children. Not that I’m saying that he won’t meet you in other places!
Entering church for the first time can be daunting at first. Many seats, most of them empty because of the crowds of strangers that have formulated into impenetrable cluster circles. Often you may be greeted by one or two who are assigned to hand out the weekly notices. Finding a seat is easy, but finding the right seat is nearly impossible until you find the people you know and find out where they are going to sit.

Back to Front:
The seats at the back are first to go. Why is this? Why is there a tendency to slump into the back row, trying to disappear? This is the House of God isn’t it? Didn’t we want to be here!?
The reason for this is hard to put your finger on. I believe it comes down to one residing fact. Commitment. By sitting near the front you are committed to worship. By sitting at the back we can go unnoticed, unseen. We don’t have to worry about people seeing us in tears, seeing us singing along to a song, or seeing us lift our hands in surrender to the one who saved us. Shame falls upon us.

‘Till next time…

Church Series: Part 1

The doors are open.
The usual chatter of teenage tantrums rattle the walls, the thud of their shoes trample the carpet as they make their way to the rows of seats that face the stage like scales on a fish. The lights are on, but only at the front, illuminating the stage. This doesn’t attract them like moths though. Instead, the seats fill from the back forward, people clambering keenly so as not to be seen as too keen by sitting up the front.
This place. This place where many seek refuge, where many seek answers. This place where those that know God and want to make Him known come, to share in fellowship, to worship their God and tell him constantly in meaningless lyrics how much they love him. Yet come the next sun rise they fall back into their seemingly busy and important life, filled with meaningless things compared with the existence of God.
These next few posts on my blog will be looking at church – especially focusing on Worship. I want to know why it is that these youth come to these events, what they look for in worship and music and what affect it has in their daily walk with God.

‘Till next time…

Update // Whitecross – 20//07//08

The gale wind sauntered past his hair.
A new idea was born and the illuminated neon sign of a white cross plagued his memories of that day.
It was time for change. A time to make it real. The paint flew onto canvas and the first realisations came to him, abundant.
And with this change came about a new era. A new progression in design. Something more real, more striking, more meaningful was on the cards.
Whitecross – the new design was released today. It has two new flavours: Ghost and Plush.

‘Till next time…

Life in General

Hi guys!

Well, its been an eventful first week back at Uni. I’m having big issues with the big gaps between classes, ending up in me having to travel home between times. I have 8am lectures for teaching, and then 5pm lectures for Maori studies. Not to worry though. Its only for another 12 weeks or so…
I am enjoying the Maori paper though. One of my teaching buddies is in the same class so its good to get a chance to know her a little more and have a decent chat on the way down to the train station. She has the same problem, except she has a few classes to fill in the gaps in between.
Anyway, apart from being abnormally grumpy at the sight of my alarm clock going off at 6:30am, all is swell!

‘Till next time

Update // Hotere – 02//07//08

The latest theme hits the racks this week with a theme dedicated to a favourite New Zealand artist, Ralph Hotere. His word based paintings have been an inspiration to not only myself, but to many other artists out there.
I first got the idea for the theme when I came across a WordPress theme called “Hemmingway”. I thought what better than to have a theme based not on a writer, but on a New Zealand artist.

‘Till next time…