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Tuning Up Our Hearts to Sing His Praise

Tuning Up Our Hearts to Sing His Praise

By Anthony Hoisington on April 17, 2013

It’s 7:30 Sunday morning; we walk into our churches as worship leaders with our coffee in our hands ready to get the morning started.  We turn on the lights, the sound system; we tune our guitars and get the music set for the musicians that are probably going to be late.

Eventually everyone is there and ready to go.  We say a quick prayer, warm up a little and get into the music for the morning.   There are changes made here and there for transitions and words are corrected in the computer from the spelling errors that we didn’t catch when we were typing them earlier in the week.

Practice over?

We meet together just before the first service and pray with the team and Pastors.  We pray that God will show up and lead through us to bring people into His presence.  The countdown goes off and the team takes the stage.  The room is full of people all staring at you ready to sing or at least have you sing to them.

So what’s really going on?  What are we hoping to accomplish through this 30-minute musical presentation?

Last summer I took my son Lucas to a baseball game.  We got ourselves some good seats, a few drinks and some cheesy chips (or nacho's).  My son brought his glove and was very excited to be there.  He kept asking me if he could go out and "play with the guys".

Whenever he would get a little bored, I would tell him that when we reach the seventh inning stretch we would be singing the song "Take me out to the ballgame".  He loves this song.  It's a song that he knows all the words to and we can pretty much get him to sing it at anytime.  That would catch his attention once again and we would be back focusing on the game.

Finally the seventh inning arrived, we stood up, I grabbed him into my arms and the organ began to play.  He started singing the first few words and then all of a sudden he heard thousands of other voices joining with his.  He began to smile really big and sang the song with this sense of amazement. He finally stopped, looked at me and said, "Daddy they know the song too!".  I will never forget that moment.

I think that in a small way that's what worship music does for the church.  You know the feeling, a group of people all singing together.  It pulls us into a sense of community.  It calls us all to join in the sound together.  To find our voice in the midst of all the others and at the same time realize that faith in God is much, much bigger than just you, is not only encouraging, but overwhelming all at once.

So there we were, my son, I and thousands of other people all singing this really old, fun song.  And my son was in awe.  The power of words, music and thousands of other voices all coming together for a moment sounded and looked like church to me.

N.T. Wright once said this, “The music has been written and now must be performed.”  The heart behind that statement is what we as followers of Jesus do everyday of our existence.  God through His son Jesus has taught us the way that we are supposed to live and reflect His image.  But it’s really hard right?  Some days it feels impossible, but God calls us to keep practicing.  Though we will never play the music perfectly we are called to show up to practice and continue to make an effort.

So worship is a time where we are reminded that community in Christ is much bigger than one person.  It’s about the whole, all gathering together to sing and practice the Jesus centered life that we all strive to attain.

Our hope as worship leaders is to encourage spiritual growth through prayers attached to music. It’s a call to pick up our instruments, find our voice and contribute what God has given us to join in the sound of creation. We know that God isn’t looking for perfection as much as our unique, individual style and inflection to be apart of the overall piece that has been placed before us.

Anthony Hoisington is a part of the Integrity Music group, Brothers McClurg.

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