The word for this year is a bit different this time round. We’re not focusing on one scripture. We’re focusing on a theme.
Last year I read a book called The Reset, I got it off Nathan & Rachel. So I think I was meant to read it.
If you’ve also read it you know how good it is and if you haven’t I would highly recommend giving it a read as musicians & worship leaders.
But this book just challenged me so much and confirmed in my own heart about some of the things going on in the world and also in our Christian circles.
For the months leading up-to Christmas, I felt on my heart that we needed to dive into looking at the heart, the heart of worship.
And reading The Reset, confirmed to me it was the right time to relook at the heart of worship and what it can look like when we’re on team.
We’re going to be looking at a couple of different factors of the heart today.
Worship starts with Purity, Purity of Heart. Now I’m not saying you can’t do it if you're not blemish free. We’re all human and make mistakes. Sometimes you might just say something wrong and thats it. Or you might harbour unresolved issues. Or even think one thing that isn’t too good.
But your worship will be worth so much more to God and will be draw you so much closer to him if you are as pure as possible.
Also to the congregation if you are giving your purehearted, wholehearted worship to him. They will respond to this.
We should always be striving to be better, with God, With our routines, with our families, with our friends and so on.
It says in
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
This is another of these verses where you hear it all the time and it probably loses its meaning on us, coz we hear it so often. I know it has done that for me at times.
But this verse is so important, it tells you two things I feel, Guard your heart from others, But Mainly and arguably more important that you guard your heart from any unpure thoughts.
How you behave, how you decide to deal with things and how you approach things. It could just be how you approach a Sunday Morning. If you get into a cycle of I’m too tired, or I can’t be bothered or more likely that you have too much on and are finding it hard to keep or carry on under the circumstances around you.
That is something that can affect our hearts before God, We need to realign our thoughts with God when these thoughts come. We can not afford to let our thoughts dictate our circumstances or come into our worship.
1 Corinthians 3:12 -15
12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
It’s your choice what you build with.
Building with the wrong materials will only cause destruction and it will not last. But if we build with Pure hearts, right hearts before God then It will last. And we will see the fruits of it in the worship that we bring and how the congregation receives it will be different again.
It all starts with Pure Hearts before God. That means that whatever we do we need to know that it’s right before God. And we’re doing things with the right intentions and with no hidden agendas.
It isn’t easy to be pure all the time but It’s worth it for your own growth and for others.
Another thing we need to be aware of:
Standing up for the truth
In the world were living in the church has taken on a new form. A form where it takes the resemblance of what the world offers. I’m not saying all churches are like this. But just some of them.
So you have celebrity worship leaders, celebrity pastors, now I’m not bashing them. So please don’t think that.
But it is something we have to be aware of. That we one do not idolise them or try to copy them, coz were so in awe of them.
But mostly, because it’s dangerous to follow people that you don’t no.1 know personally or in general because you don’t know what’s going on in their hearts - recently theres been a lot of news around some of these pastors and their decisions they’ve made. And if you look at them like they’re amazing and just follow their ways and teaching, what happens when the news comes that theyre not who you thought they were. Does that shatter your entire world?
And if we copy everything other people do, we just become a carbon copy of the other church, which isn’t how God Designed us. We don’t know what is going on in their hearts. It can become like we’re like the blind leading the blind then.
Again Im not saying listening to celebrity pastors or worship leaders is bad. There are a lot of amazing preachers, worship leaders out there with amazing teaching. Im just saying to guard your heart. Test it against the scriptures. And rely on the bible and your relationship with God to guide you more.
We shouldn’t hide behind what everyone else does or follow popular church cultures. Our job is to be a community. Not follow the newest hype.
You all know I love Bethel. But theres times when I don’t always agree with the songs they do or something they do. So I don’t just go with it because everyone else is and because I like them. I test it against Scripture. I rely on God to reveal to me if we should or shouldn’t go that way. Every church is different. God designed us differently. Unique.
Psalm 69:9 (or zeal for your house consumes me) - Zealous Leaders are courageous leaders & you will need a lot of courage to do things sometimes. Going against the flow. - Jeremy Riddle
We need to be a generation of followers of God that will stand up for the truth. Stand for what is right. Weigh everything against scripture and be steadfastly loyal to it.
A lot of Churches and Celebrity Pastors, Celebrity Worship leaders (again not all) are more focused on the experience that the congregation have and not that their hearts are being moved and changed by God - Not saying that they realise they are doing this. But they start selling it as entertainment and not pure-hearted worship. Our Job is not to entertain the people. Our job is simply to facilitate what God wants to do. Even if that looks like we’ve got one person on stage leading.
The Heart Of Worship - Matt Redman Story
We are in the business of connecting lost & dying people to the life, hope and true substance of God. (Jeremy Riddle)
Let's not make worship our thing to perform with. Let's make it pure again. Let's do it as God intended us to do. Filling arenas and stadiums is amazing, but the real work is in the communities, on a Sunday morning - Bless Mcr - Street level work - and a big one is in your jobs. Talking about going to worship practice and being there on Sunday morning can open so many doors to people.
It’s a big responsibility.
We need to commit to deepening our knowledge - Constant, Consistent & Careful Study of his word
All worship starts with some sort of knowledge of God and who he is.
We need to study God for ourselves and not just others studies of him.
Be someone who stands in stark contrast to the rest of the generation who are just following other peoples coat tails. - Jeremy Riddle
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
- he says offer your Bodies - not your performance
Without surrender - we’re not really worshipping, were just singing songs. Theres nothing for God to work in. Because we are holding on to everything and trying to control it ourselves.
- Worship isn’t controlled
Jeremy Riddle asks these questions - I think its good to take some time to answer these properly.
Ask yourself - What Is Driving me?
What is driving all this?
How pure is my root motivation?
Does it flow from a sincere desire to live fully & wholehearted?
Is It rooted in surrendered Intimacy? Or is it rooted in something else?
Someone who is unskilled and totally unqualified - If they surrender totally to God can do way more than a whole army of skilled and talented group of people. So imagine what we can do if we totally surrender if we are skilled and qualified.
Don’t write off a service, even if its right at the end of the service. Something can always shift - remember the time the sound messed up and then something shifted and the congregation ministered in the holy spirit then.
God doesn’t move when we find the right formulas or the right performances. He moves when we are surrendered before him.
We need to learn to adopt a new posture before him. To learn to be in step only with the spirit and not in step with the newest trends.
Surrender is something that is talked about very often. But it's hard to do. So let's not just talk about it. Let's be examples of it to others.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
We need to focus on what’s right. Whats truth. Who we know God to be.
Let's chase after the truth. Otherwise what are we even doing here. Let's not lose our way in worship.
Let's not look from our perspective but from his perspective.
Areas to grow in/goals
In our Set Teams - putting in place extra rehearsal times. - Learning from each other. In our spontaneous and free worship times.
Update on Tech and Equipment
Time together Socials and retreats.
Songwriting - 3rd Feb
Creating a better link between the tech teams and musical side of the teams.
To allow for the extra practices, we will go back to an every week basis - in some cases. Keep an eye on the website or the chat for upto date information. So we will be putting more time into practices. Prioritise house groups and your Band weeks
Tomorrow I will be going over the schedule for Wednesdays, so I will add that to the website as usual and send across the link for those that may have forgotten about it. It’s going to mean that you need to take more responsibility to check things.
Archive - will take a little time to sort but will be on that.
New core list will be out soon.
More emphasis on the spiritual growth of the team in words.