Haha ok, kinda ironic my 666 post is on worship, but OK! God>devil!
BK asked me a question, he said that back in the conference, he heard PBL play for worship. There was only one guitar and drums, but the sound was very big and the energy was there even though it wasn’t a fast clapping song. There was this victorious sound. He wants to know what is the secret and how to replicate it in our congregation.
If you bring anointing out of the picture, focusing solely on sound, guitar technical skills are really important. Ask a beginner guitarist to play 10 levels of dynamics and he will struggle. Ask an experienced guitarist play 100 levels of dynamics and you will find that he does it with ease. When you add that to playing the drums and singing, you get even more levels of dynamics.
However, I think it goes beyond that. I think there is the issue of song choice too. If you want a victorious sound, choose songs that declares victory! Shout unto God is a great example. I think that there is a right place for everything, there are days where worship will be the congregation repenting, there are days where the worship focuses on wonder and there are days when we declare God’s glory. It cannot be that we sing of victory every week ah. We express different things on different days.
There is also the factor of the congregation. I think many people don’t realise that what we do in the worship team is largely affected by the congregation’s response. We as worship leaders, set the direction ask the people to follow, but if they don’t, are we the ones in the wrong? Of course not!
It is like Moses leading people into the promised land and the people refused to, was Moses in the wrong? Of course not.
Like a leader trying to get the group to walk a trail, we move the most when the congregation follows.
Not many people understand it isn’t that we don’t want to go high all the time, but sometimes if the congregation doesn’t follow, it would be rather hard to go high. What I mean by this can be understood with an analogy. Imagine five people doing a project together, you are the leader, you guys are tasked to do project A, however, your team mates keep getting distracted by project B. Even though you are the leader, can you do everything? Even if you keep moving forward, you will have to stop to bring your team mates back on track.
How can we engage with a congregation that is shutting off?
It makes me think of the time, this Indonesian band came to Singapore, they did this stop start and let the audience sing. This band was really quite good, but the audience being a typical conservative singaporean, just didn’t sing along at all. Asking them to sing along was like plucking teeth.
HOWEVER, you think about 五月天’s concert in Singapore. HA! You can hear the audience screaming their lungs out along with Ashin. They can do any kind of stop start and the audience will sing it.
So what is the difference? There is a sense of familiarity with the songs, there is this engagement because they enjoy the songs written, people actually learned the song beforehand voluntarily.
Until the congregation voluntarily put time out to know God, they will never be engaged during worship.
An anthem is something to be declared. To have a victorious tone, we need to declare the truths about God with conviction. You can clearly tell the difference when someone with passion speaks vs someone that is just here because he have to be. Think national anthem in primary/secondary school, who sings it loud at all? Now think NDP or even NDP rehearsal, you will be so proud when you are there, you sing the national anthem loud and clear. Everyone declaring that they are proud to be a singaporean.
Just look back to this moment in the SEA games national anthem!
Hear the sound, no instrument, no backing track, just every singaporean proud of our achievement! Heartwarming isn’t it?
No matter how hard we try to replicate it, the sound of an anthem can only be captured when everyone wants to sing.
We as the worship team may try to point the direction, but the atmosphere is still set in place by the congregation.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we as the worship band do nothing. We as the worship band, need to pray! We need to use our crafts creatively, do our very best to engage people. We pray and pray and pray and wait for the moment God bring in the harvest!