Category: Song Services

Christian Praise: Leading Christian Praise and Worship Music

leading christian praise and Worship Music

Christian Praise

Leading Christian Praise and Worship Music

As a Christian Praise and Worship Music leader, I am often asked “What is the best way to lead a Song Service?”. Although, I am sure many of you may not agree with me I always feel that a Christian Song Service should start with Thanksgiving and Christian Praise and then move on to Christian Worship. If you have been reading my blog or ezine articles you will see that I believe that there is a distinct difference between Christian Praise and Christian Worship.

When people walk into the church service they have many things on their minds. They are usually not prepared to jump into Christian Worship right off of the street. I have seen this done in some services and you can tell that the people are trying really hard to worship, but they are just not prepared properly to just jump into it. It is extremely hard for anyone to stop what they have been doing and engage in such an intimate time with God without first getting their heads together.

The Psalmist David said “I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart; I will enter His courts with Praise.” (Psalm 100:4)

Some of us may not be feeling very happy when we come into song service, although most people will prepare themselves mentally in some respect before church service starts. The problem is that if you are going through hard times, you may come into the song service with a very heavy heart.

If we start our Christian Praise and Worship Services directly with a Christian Worship song such as “I Stand in Awe of You”, many people will not be mentally prepared to commune with God in this way at that moment in time.

But if we start our song service with Christian Praise songs such as “I Will Enter His Gates” or “This is the Day that the Lord Has Made”, they will start to focus in on God and then we can start to lead them slowly, song by song leading up to Christian Worship. Then they will be in the proper state of mind to truly worship God in His Holiness.

You can use these simple steps also in your own private time alone with God to bring yourself from a place of hurriedness to a place where you can worship God in Spirit and Truth. I hope this little post on Christian Praise and Worship Music has helped you.

 

(originally posted Sept. 25, 2009)

Christian Praise: Worship Pastors on American Idol

Worship Leader Jim Ranger
Christian Praise: Worship Pastors on American Idol

Well, I don’t know how many of you watch “American Idol”, but I do. Last night there was both a Worship Pastor named Jim Ranger, as well as another church pastor auditioning. I don’t remember anyone of the judges ever saying before that they think that a person’s position in a job qualifies them as talented or not. It’s NOT in the rules for auditioning. Since when did a person’s vocation (or religion) qualify as an excuse to not judge impartially? What happened to Jim Ranger?

The story begins:
Avril Lavigne was a guest on the panel of judges for the evening. Incidentally? She showed up wearing a hoodie with devils horns on the top of the hood.

It was time for a Worship Pastor to take his turn to audition in front of the panel of judges.

As soon as Jim Ranger, the Worship Pastor at a church, was finished singing (And he did do a fantastic job) Simon Cowell, who is always brutally honest, said that he liked the audition and that Jim had an authentic voice.

Next to take her turn to judge was Avril and she piped right up and said rather derogatorily, “You’re married and you have three children and you’re a Pastor? You know, to become a pop star, you know you have to travel and you have to leave everything. It’s difficult out there on the road…But, I do think you have a good voice.”

We can see right away that she is judging him, not on his voice, because she said she thought he had a good voice, but rather she judged him on the fact that he was a Christian Worship Leader.

It bothers me that Avril Lavigne would judge according to his vocation rather than his skill as a singer. The whole point of American Idol is to judge them on their singing skills, not whether they feel they can make it out on the road away from their family. I suppose we will chalk the comment up to her young age and forgive her.

When it finally came time to vote, Simon was first and answered with an enthusiastic “Yes”. Next in line to vote was Avril. She doesn’t even look at Jim but rather looks over at Carla (Judge #3) and says, “I’m sorry, but I have to say no.”

Sadly, Carla picks up on Avril’s negativity and agrees with her comment by saying very doubtingly, “I don’t know how you…um…really can do everything at once if you were to go through with this, how you really can be dedicated to your church.”

What I find strange is why, all of a sudden, are these judges basing the audition upon the person’s vocation rather than their talent?

Jim did finally get the 3 votes he needed to qualify for a golden ticket to go to Hollywood but, a very strange thing happened immediately after that on the show. Simon turns to Avril and says, “I love the fact that we’ve officially got a devil on our show.”

In my opinion, truer words were never said. How apt that it would be this particular night that a devil would condemn a Christian. It kind of gives us something to think about.

Have you noticed that there have been quite a few Christians who have been auditioning for American Idol in the last couple of years. The ones that stand out to me are David Gokey, Kris Allen and this year Tasha Layton and Jim Ranger.

I know there is a lot of talk going around about how Christians should not be going after fame and fortune but, on the other hand I see how churches expect their Christian Worship Leaders to perform their duties getting no recompense for doing it. There are people who say that they should do it for nothing because their reward is in heaven, but even the Levites were set aside to perform the work for God and were paid to do it.

I Chronicles 9:33 says Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night.

Numbers 18:21 (kjv)

21. And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

1 Corinthians 9:7-14 (NIV)

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? 8. Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9. For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10. Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12. If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?

But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 13. Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14. In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

In order to lead in Christian Praise and Worship we as worship leaders should be exempt also from secular jobs in order to spend time in God’s presence. How can we lead others into Christian Praise and Worship if we are not spending time with God in worship daily? I know some people think that to lead in Praise and Worship we just need to gather a couple of songs and sing,but this is not true worship. We are not to be the entertainment section for the church rather we are to be gatekeepers to the Holy of Holies…..okay so I’m going off on a tangent 🙂

I don’t understand how anyone can stand back and say that these people are wrong to try out on American Idol and hope to try to provide for their families. What they know is music, and they are good at it. If we don’t want them going to “the world” to make a living then maybe we better start considering how we are supporting them as a church.

Is it any worse for a Music Pastor to get a job singing non-Christian, secular songs than a Pastor who tries to provide for his family by working in the material world such as banking or politics etc?

I really think that we as Christians should stop judging what other people are doing to make their living and keep an eye on our own lives.

What do you think?

Sharron

You can view the audition here.

(originally posted on 28th January 2010)

Christian Praise: Let’s Forget About Ourselves

christian praise surrender

Christian Praise

Let’s Forget About Ourselves

 

As a Christian Praise and Worship Leader I realize that many people who come into our church services are a little frazzled and perhaps have many things on their minds. It’s not easy getting a family all dressed and ready to come to Church on Sunday mornings and our thoughts may be scattered and our nerves may be frazzled from all of the preparation.

Our motives are right, there is no denying that, but when we come into the house of the Lord we may not be at our best to offer Christian Praise and worship.

I find it very beneficial to start out our Christian Praise and Worship Service with songs and Scriptures on Praise that help us to get our focus corrected.

The Christian Praise and Worship Music should be aimed at leading the congregation from a place of Praise to the inner sanctuary where we can worship God in the beauty of His Holiness.

I do not understand churches that start their Christian Praise with Worship. How can I walk in off the street after perhaps battling it out with the kids in the car and be prepared to enter the Holy of Holies?

Yes, some days I can put myself together and actually walk in prepared to worship but for the majority of people they need to be led into Christian Praise and Worship like leading a small child.

Our minds are like little children and they don’t always want to do what we want them to do when we want them to do it. This is one of the reasons that the Bible tells us that we need to renew our minds and that is done only through the Word of God.

Because I am acutely aware of the things that go on when preparing to get to church on Sunday I do not start the Christian Praise and Worship Service with purely Worship songs. I will always start off on a plane where many people find themselves when they walk into the service. This is why I generally start the service with songs like:

I Will Enter His Gates

I will enter His Gates with Thanksgiving in my Heart

I will enter His Courts with Praise

I will say this is the day that the Lord has made

I will rejoice for He has made me glad

He has made me glad, He has made me glad

I will rejoice for He has made me glad

He has made me glad, He has made me glad

I will rejoice for He has made me glad

This brings our focus away from the momentary distractions and helps us to remember that “this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.”(Psalm 118:24)

Then I might go into the Chorus: “What a Mighty God we Serve.”

This brings us closer to realizing how Great God is.

Another great chorus to help us prepare ourselves is the wonderful Christian Praise Song: “We Have Come into This House”

The Chorus goes;

We have come into this house and gathered in His Name to Worship Him 3x

Worship Him Christ the Lord

He is all my righteousness, I stand complete in Him and Worship Him 3x

Worship Him Christ the Lord

 

Once we sing a christian praise song like this, we hopefully focus on why we are here in Church. Once we get ourselves lined up in why we are here and what we are here to do and how great God is, then we are truly ready to offer Him Worship.

First, Comes Christian Praise and that leads to Worship.

You can listen to a nice version of the song: We Have Come Into This House

(Originally posted: Sept. 12, 2009)

Photo Credit: Ricardo Camacho (Creative Commons)

Christian Praise: God Dwells in the Praises of His People

God Dwells in the Praises of His People

God Dwells In The Praises of His People

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel (kjv) Psalm 22:3

I just finished reading an article on Christian Praise and how it affects non-Christians. It bought back fond memories of when I first attended a Pentecostal Church.

Being bought up in a mainline church in the Montreal area of Canada I was used to singing hymns and nice little songs like “Jesus Loves Me”. This kept me on track when I was a little girl, but when I grew up and came back to God, my relationship with Him was completely different. He was no longer a God somewhere up there in the sky who was watching to see if I was naughty or nice (Kind of like a glorified Santa Claus). This time it was different!

I could feel the presence of Jesus in my life and I knew something inside of me had changed. I decided it was time to go back to church. Sadly, what I found in church was not what I was experiencing in my own one on one time spent with God.

I started to think perhaps I was strange, perhaps I was overly emotional, perhaps, I was somehow wrong. Those around me didn’t get all excited about Jesus like I did. What was wrong with me?

I still continued to go to church as I knew this is what God wanted of me, and I loved learning more and more about the Lord every chance I could get.

Later, I met my husband to be and he was a Pentecostal. He told me about the Pentecostal church and I thought to my self….This sounds very strange to me…I was very leery on going but he finally convinced me to go to a meeting with him and I was totally surprised.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that mainline church goers are not true worshipers or have no feelings, or that Pentecostals are the only true believers or whatever. I am simply stating that the two churches I had attended were as different as night and day.

That night that I attended the church with my future husband, was a turning point in my life. I realized as I stood there praising God with those around me that there was a presence that I had never felt in a church before. Yes, I had experienced this presence in my own prayer life, but never in a congregation. It was like I was finally home. Finally, I could feel the presence of God amongst those who were worshiping. It was like heaven had come down and the glory of God had filled that auditorium that night.

Since becoming a Christian Worship Leader it has always been my goal to lead those in the congregation to the place where they too can feel the presence of God in the midst of them.

It is only in the presence of our awesome God that people can know, without the shadow of a doubt, that they are in the presence of God.

As Worship Leaders we are like the doorkeepers to the very presence of God. We must lead them gently from the outer courts into the Holy of Holies where they can sense God and the beauty of His Holiness.

The article that I had read, reminded me of the importance of Christian Worship and its effects on the non-Christian, as well as those who were already Christians.

The article was entitled: “Worship and the Visitor,” sadly it is no longer available.

Hopefully this blog post will help you realize the importance of Christian Praise and Worship in our services and will stir up in you a hunger to be in the presence of God.

 

(originally written on November 2, 2009)

 

Christian Praise vs Christian Worship, What’s the Difference?

Christian Praise and Worship

Christian Praise and Worship

Christian Praise vs Christian Worship, What’s the Difference?

If you were invited to a Christian Praise Service or a Christian Worship Service you would find that they are two different types of Song Services. Generally churches combine the two and call them “Christian Praise and Worship Services”. This keeps the confusion down, but in actuality Christian Praise and Christian Worship are two distinct things.

As a Christian Praise and Worship Leader for many years I always taught the congregation about the differences between Christian Praise and Worship. Let me define Christian Praise and Worship here for you.

  • Christian Praise can be defined as focusing on what God has done in our lives.
  • Christian Worship can be defined as focusing on Who God IS.

We can see a great example of Christian Worship in the following Praise Scripture :

Revelation 4:8-12

Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

9. Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever,

10.the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

11. “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

Compare this to this example of Christian Praise in the following scripture on Praise:

Exodus:15:1-21

1Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

2The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

3The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is His name.

4Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hathHe cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

5The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.

6Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

7And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sendest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.

8And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

9The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.

10Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.

11Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

12Thou stretchest out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.

13Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

14The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.

15Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.

16Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.

17Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have established.

18The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.

19For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

20And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

21And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.

The above passage shows us that after God had brought the Israelite’s safely through the Red Sea and drowned the Egyptians Moses took up a song of praise extolling the wonders of what God had done on their behalf. Those Scripture verses define Christian Praise very succinctly. This would be considered a Christian Praise song because it focuses on what God has done. Miriam and Moses are praising the Lord because He has bought them safely to dry land. They continue giving praises to God because of His wonders that He has performed.

We sing this at church. It’s called “The Horse and Rider Song” You can see the lyrics and hear the acapella version my other post here. http://christianpraiseblog.com/the-horse-and-rider-song-lyrics/

I hope this example has been clear to you and hopefully it will help you to understand the difference between Christian Praise and Christian Worship.

(Originally Posted Oct. 14, 2012)

photo credit: Bill Lollar via photopin cc