Expectations of Worship

What are your expectations of worship?

Often we walk through church doors expecting the music to be spot on, the lights humming, the people fully engaged and the atmosphere electric. But how does it get to be like that? Do we need the lights, the music and the atmosphere to live up to our own expectations for God to show up?

Our expectations of what church worship needs to be is largely based on the false precedent set by the likes of Planetshaker and Hillsong DVD’s that have infiltrated western churches. They are advertising church worship to be a glorified concert, and setting an expectation that this is the only way corporate worship can be.

I am not saying that God does not show up and minister to His people at those types of hype-worship events, but that there is no reason for every church worship set to try and live up to that falsified expectation. Instead, let me paint a quite different scene.

A reflective scene. A humble guitar. A pure heart. A song of hope drifting across the still quiet gathering. The quiet whispers of God.

“After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave…”
1 Kings 19:12-13

When you come to worship God, come expecting to meet with Him. Expect to find Him in the most humble of words, in the simplest songs and in the whispers of the silence that may befall upon you.


Being proud is when you achieve something that you didn’t think you could do.
Being proud is when you see your son taking his first steps.
Being proud is when you see him scoring his first goal.
Being proud is when you see him being honest to you, even when he’s in big trouble.
Being proud is when you hear him make a lifetime commitment to Christ.
Being proud is when you see him leaving on his first date.
Being proud is when you see him drive his new car up the driveway.
Being proud is when you see him fix his car himself for the first time.
Being proud is when you find out he’s engaged.
Being proud is when you hear him make his vows earnestly to his one love.
Being proud is seeing the joy on his face when he too has a son to be proud of.

Uncomfortable Comfort

Uncomfortable Comfort

Uncomfortable Comfort

Gordon, our adopted cat, is not much for human contact. When we first met, she wriggled herself into a frenzy to avoid human contact. The only way you can hold her is upside down on her back, much like rock-a-by baby. She will only sleep on top of your bed covers ad certainly never higher up than you knees.

Once, she came and curled up in my lap on my bed.

Tonight, she came and snuggled up in my arm/chest, because I had my knees up, lying on my back.

It was a moment of comfort, that I knew she was uncomfortable about. This shot was as good as I could get without disturbing her.

06 Robert Harris

06 Robert Harris

06 Robert Harris

Went out with the beautiful Vicky Flanagan for lunch again today and enjoyed a toasted panini and iced chocolate. The food was good, but the company was even better.

Mini with Sophie

We Meet Again

Mini with Sophie

Met Vicky for Nando’s tonight. Parked next to her beloved Sophie. Great photo if you know the cars.

Worship: Choosing to Live

Worship is often associated with music, singing, lifting your hands, closing your eyes and going to church.

But how much more could it be if we look t the true essence of what is worship?

Worship is a choice. We chose to give God our praise and surrender to Him. We sing the words of songs that glorify Him in all his splendor, and sing of how we worship, or how we lift up our hands, or how beautiful He is.

But can we not express this in other ways? Is not the pure essence of worship essentially living for God? In so many ways, we can choose to live in a lifestyle of worship. We surrender our lives to live for Him. Our being and thoughts focus on God. The things we do and the way we treat other people should all bring glory to God. If we centre our lives around doing things that bring glory to God, are we not choosing to worship God with our lives?

So worship can be so much more than going to church and singing songs.

Worship could be a lifestyle.

If we choose.


Worship: Connections

How do we connect with the congregation? How do we lead them in true worship?

Some say that on stage, you need to be worshiping in order to lead others to worship. This is entirely true, but you also are required to lead. Whether you’re a backing guitarist or the lead vocals, you are leading. People are looking to you for cues. People are looking to you to show them how to worship.

Connecting with people requires you to break away from your own personal worship, and look out to the crowd. Where every ounce of you wishes to close your eyes and worship God, it is important to open your eyes to the congregation to make those connections, to draw them in. If there is a wall of disparity between the followers who have gathered and the worship team, then there won’t be anything happening to bring them in to God.
Many guitarists I have seen over the years are classic examples of this. They think that because they’re not the main leader, that no one is watching. When the truth is, everyone is watching – because guitarists are rock stars! That is not for it to go to your head, but it comes as a huge responsibility because people look to you to lead them in worship. Being self indulged in your fretboard as your fingers blur the lines between melodic beauty and hallucinating insane is not going to bring anyone to worship, except worshiping you. Instead, you need to look up from your music stand and play for God.

For without Him, you are playing but noise.

Tele Look

Tele Look

Tele Look

A week ago I decided to sell my red Squier Chambered Tele and upgrade to a new one.

Originally I wanted one of the traditional blonde one’s with the black pickguard – but they only make them starting from $1499, which is the kind of money I don’t spend on guitars.

So I went with a nice sunburst one, mid-range – and I’m really glad I did. It has a beautiful sound and it looks great in photos too.

Mini - boot

Mini Boot

Mini - boot

For a while I’ve been meaning to get around to finishing off my Mini’s boot. Since I got it painted, I ripped out the old backing, and was ready to put the new carpet base in. A can of adhesive spray that sticks your arm hair together later and it was done!