At our last Thursday night practice we tried a number of things ... intercessory worship, new approaches to a song, different harmonies, etc., etc.
We were "practicing worship" ... right? Or were we?
Well, in the post-session conversations, a number of ideas were being thrown around, among them the idea of how we should be perfecting how we play a song.
I think I need to voice a caution ... because this goes to the heart of what happens on Thursdays.
Worship is, almost by definition, a creative expression. When we lead worship on a Sunday, we are leading in creativity, and not replicating a perfected performance. And so, I think there are some dimensions to this that we need to be very careful about.
a) When we come together on our Thursday nights it should not be to practice, but to rehearse. Practicing is to improve a skill. Rehearsing is applying that skill.
b) So when we rehearse ... we are bringing something we already do. In our case, we rehearse the collection and blending of our individual worship skills that we've practiced on our own.
This leads to some questions:
a) Guitarists, do you practice your playing skills and develop your theory when you're on your own?
b) Vocalists, do you exercise your voice and develop harmony and dynamics when you're on your own?
c) Rhythm and percussion ... are you developing those muscle memories to lock in a rock solid groove, while you're on your own?
d) Keyboards, do you remember explore how you mix bass, melody, and fill in how you play a song?
And all: do you practice worship on your own?
Drums and percussion: have you tried worshiping alone on your drums? Guitarists, have you tried worshiping through the instrument alone? Vocalists, have you tried worshiping in song without having any prepared words given to you?
If we're not doing this, our Thursdays will only be practices. But if we DO practice on our own, then our Thursday evenings will be creative rehearsals for the minor event on Sunday, in preparation for that major event when we die! Now that's a joyful thought!
The entries here are simply pointers to interesting resources around worship ... read and be educated!